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Presidents Trump and Abbas meet in Bethlehem

Donald Trump met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem on Tuesday, a day after promising to make a renewed effort at peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.

President Trump made the journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, passing a billboard which declared the "city of peace welcomes the man of peace."

After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the president said "we can truly achieve a more peaceful future for this region and for people of all faiths and all beliefs and frankly all over the world."

Trump also placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem’s Western Wall, sending a signal of solidarity with Israelis. The visit raised questions about whether the U.S. would indicate the site is Israeli territory. The U.S. has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Old City seized in the 1967 war.

Earlier this month, the president told Reuters that he wanted to "see peace with Israel and the Palestinians."

"There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians — none whatsoever," he said,

While en route to Tel Aviv from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump was seeking unity in the fight against terrorism, as well as an opening step in the quest for peace.

However, White House aides have played down expectations for significant progress on the peace process during Trump’s stop, casting it as more symbolic than substantive.

The last round of peace talks, led by then-President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, fell apart in 2014.

Mugiejor A

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