US

Abbas says talks with Trump positive, if short on specifics

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says his first meeting with President Donald Trump left him hopeful and he thinks the U.S. can play an important role as mediator between Palestinians and Israelis.

Abbas says he and Trump did not discuss details. Abbas told reporters late Wednesday that "so far we didn't talk about a mechanism, but the contacts between us and the Americans began and will continue."

There have been no serious negotiations on terms for a Palestinian state alongside Israel since gaps widened with the 2009 election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel's prime minister.

Trump said Wednesday he's optimistic about prospects for a deal, but offered no specifics.

Abbas said that "what is needed is to bring the two parties together" and that he is ready to meet with Netanyahu.