Trump, Abbas scheduled to hold formal talk


(JTA) — The White House scheduled a telephone conversation between President Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.

The White House schedule for Friday has Trump speaking by telephone with Abbas at 12:15 p.m., in what would be the first direct contact between the new American president and the Palestinian leader.

Trump, who drew the ire of Palestinian leaders last month for appearing to back away from longstanding U.S. support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has also resolved to move the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move the Palestinians oppose.

Congress recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995 and mandated the move, but successive U.S. presidents have exercised a waiver in the law that allows them to delay the move for national security reasons.

Echoing similar warnings by U.S. security officials and diplomats, the Palestinian leadership say that moving the embassy would stir anti-American violence in the Middle East and elsewhere. The Palestinian Authority under Abbas claims Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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