Palestinian President Meets CIA Chief in Ramallah

Mahmoud Abbas and Mike Pompeo.

Ramallah, Palestine, 19 Jumadil Awwal 1438/16 February 2017 (MINA) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo one day before a planned visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, a senior Palestinian official said Wednesday.

Abbas and Pompeo met at Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah, where they discussed the Israel-Palestine dispute and other regional issues, the official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The source described the meeting — which was also attended by Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj and other senior officials — as “deep” and “very positive”.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Abbas reiterated his commitment to a “two-state solution” to the dispute, warning of “dire consequences” should the peace process collapse, according to the official.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu is slated to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, where the two men are expected to discuss the Palestine issue, the conflict in Syria and Iran’s nuclear-energy program.

Israeli media, meanwhile, quoted a senior White House official as saying that the Trump administration was not insisting on a two-state solution to the perennial conflict.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, for his part, warned that Israel was trying to “bury the two-state solution” through unbridled land theft and the continued construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The only alternative two a two-state solution, Erekat said, was a single democratic state with equal rights for Muslims, Christians and Jews.   (T/RS05/RS01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)