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Trump, Abbas meet in Bethlehem

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (R) and US President Donald Trump (L) hold a joint press conference following their meeting on 23 May, 2017 in Bethlehem, West Bank [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (R) and US President Donald Trump (L) hold a joint press conference following their meeting on 23 May, 2017 in Bethlehem, West Bank [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed US President Donald Trump at the Palestinian presidential palace in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem this morning.

Palestinian presidential guard spokesman, Ghassan Nimr, told local media outlets that Trump was scheduled to arrive in Bethlehem at around 09:45 and hold a one-hour private meeting with Abbas.

Poster of US President Donald Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are seen before US President Donald Trump's visits in Bethlehem, West Bank on 23 May, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Poster of US President Donald Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are seen before US President Donald Trump’s visits in Bethlehem, West Bank on 23 May, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Trump’s convoy entered Bethlehem shortly before 10:00, arriving from the 300 Checkpoint and driving past Israel’s illegal Separation Wall.

The American head of state was greeted by Abbas, as well as Palestinian religious dignitaries and military officials at the presidential palace before retreating for the meeting.

Abbas and Trump held a brief joint press conference following the meeting, before Trump left Bethlehem ahead of a planned visit to the Holocaust memorial and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

#TrumpInIsrael 

Nimr added that some 2,000 members of Palestinian security forces were deployed across Bethlehem for the occasion.

Trump’s two-day visit, during which he visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall in occupied East Jerusalem, comes amid fierce opposition among Palestinians who denounce the far-right leader’s strong support for Israel and its policies targeting Palestinians, as well as his notorious anti-Muslim rhetoric.

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