Following the May 3 meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump, the Palestinian leadership expects US shuttle diplomacy to be launched in June on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Abbas received the red carpet treatment in Washington, and Trump showed public warmth toward him and even praised him for the Oslo Accord. More so, Abbas was encouraged by the content of his meeting in the Oval Office.
Still, a senior PLO official close to Abbas told Al-Monitor that despite the positive impressions of his meeting with Trump, Abbas came back to Ramallah with more questions than answers. Abbas’ entourage believes that their strategy to embrace Trump and take him at his word on the ultimate deal will actually bear fruit. The analysis in Ramallah is that the Trump administration has decided to explore the possibility of starting a peace process in the months to come. They estimate that during his May 20 visit to the region, Trump will balance his pro-Israel attitude with a rapprochement to some of the Arab positions. What remains open is his real intent beyond launching a peace process, and if he himself will engage in negotiations.