Several key Middle Eastern leaders are confident President Donald Trump may have what it takes to finally bring peace to the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz told Trump he is convinced the president has what it takes to reinvigorate the stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process during their meeting in Riyadh on Saturday, said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir during a press conference. He noted that Saudi Arabia is willing to help.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also expressed interest in working with Trump to bring a solution to the conflict.
“I will discuss with President Trump ways to strengthen even further the first and strongest alliance with the U.S. We will strengthen security ties, which are strengthening daily, and we will also discuss ways to advance peace,” Netanyahu said at the start of a weekly meeting Sunday.
Trump will visit Israel for two days starting Monday as part of his tour of the Middle East. The trip is Trump’s first foreign visit since taking office in January and includes stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank, the Vatican, Belgium and Sicily.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also appears to have expressed confidence in Trump’s ability to secure a peace deal.
“I look much forward to working with you in order to come to that historical agreement, historic deal to bring about peace,” Abbas told Trump during a joint press conference at the White House earlier this month.
The Palestinian leader is expected to offer Israel large land swap deals as part of a plan he will present during Trump’s visit to the West Bank on Tuesday, according to a report by Middle East Eye. Abbas’ land swap offer is reportedly three times as large as previous offers.
Trump’s relationships with Middle Eastern leaders already stands in stark contrast to his predecessor Barack Obama.
Trump’s arrival in Saudi Arabia was met with noticeably grander pageantry compared to Obama’s last year, according to an NBC News report. Obama’s pursuit of a nuclear agreement with Iran is believed to have strained the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The deal is also known to have caused further damage to an already poor relationship with Netanyahu.