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US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that his administration is prepared to do whatever it takes to help facilitate a potentially historic peace deal between the Israeli and Palestinian people, at a joint press conference with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

“Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve heard perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Mr Trump said. “Let’s see if we can prove them wrong.” He added that the US was willing to serve as a mediator or arbitrator between the two sides — “and we will get this done.”

Mr Abbas, paying his first official visit to Washington since the Trump administration took office in January, said that he believed peace was possible under Mr Trump’s “courageous stewardship” and that they could be “true partners to you to bring about a historic peace treaty.” Mr Abbas said his preferred solution was a return to the 1967 borders between Palestine and Israel.

During an earlier visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Trump had said he was open to either a one- or two-state solution. The two-state solution has been a cornerstone of the US policy in the region since the signing of the Oslo accords in the early 1990s.

Mr Trump has made his son-in-law Jared Kushner a Middle East envoy with a brief to work towards a peace deal.

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