Middle East

Palestinian leader seeks Trump support for independence

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center, is greeted by fellow Fatah members as he arrives during the second day of the Fatah party conference, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Palestinian Fatah movement holds its seventh conference in Ramallah with some fourteen hundred members participating and led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The conference is to elect the party's two main decision making bodies. Arabic reads " Palestine, Ramallah, November 29, 2016." (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center, is greeted by fellow Fatah members as he arrives during the second day of the Fatah party conference, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Palestinian Fatah movement holds its seventh conference in Ramallah with some fourteen hundred members participating and led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The conference is to elect the party's two main decision making bodies. Arabic reads " Palestine, Ramallah, November 29, 2016." (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the second day of the Fatah party conference, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Palestinian Fatah movement holds its seventh conference in Ramallah with some fourteen hundred members participating and led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The conference is to elect the party's two main decision making bodies. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the second day of the Fatah party conference, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Palestinian Fatah movement holds its seventh conference in Ramallah with some fourteen hundred members participating and led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The conference is to elect the party's two main decision making bodies. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the second day of the Fatah party conference, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Palestinian Fatah movement holds its seventh conference in Ramallah with some fourteen hundred members participating and led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The conference is to elect the party's two main decision making bodies. Arabic reads " Palestine, Ramallah, November 29, 2016." (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the second day of the Fatah party conference, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Palestinian Fatah movement holds its seventh conference in Ramallah with some fourteen hundred members participating and led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The conference is to elect the party's two main decision making bodies. Arabic reads " Palestine, Ramallah, November 29, 2016." (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

The Palestinian president says he will seek President-elect Donald Trump's support for an independent Palestinian state.

In a lengthy address to his Fatah Party Wednesday, President Mahmoud Abbas said he hopes that 2017 will be the year that the Palestinians finally gain independence.

He repeated his longstanding demand that a Palestinian state be established in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — areas captured by Israel in 1967.

Trump has said he would like to broker a Mideast peace deal. But he has raised concerns among Palestinians because many of his advisers take hard-line positions that favor Israel.

"If he wants to talk with us, we are pursuing that," Abbas said.

The 81-year-old Abbas was re-elected to a new five-year term as Fatah leader on Tuesday.