Abbas reiterated the PA position that east Jerusalem be part of a future Palestinian state "based on 1967 lines", adding there must be a just agreement based on the two-state solution. U.S. President Donald Trump wants to break that pattern - but if the daylight between his meetings with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas indicates anything, it's going to be an uphill battle.
"We will get it done", Trump said, flaunting his deal-making prowess during a first meeting with the veteran Palestinian leader that marked the start of an ambitious - some say quixotic - presidential effort.
Abbas, speaking through a translator, told Trump that under "your courageous stewardship and your wisdom, as well as your great negotiations ability", the Palestinians would be partners seeking a "historic peace treaty".
Rather than pursue direct talks between the two sides, Trump has suggested recruiting Arab countries to help forge a broader peace agreement.
While the president was expected to discuss the issue of Palestinian payments to convicted terrorists with Abbas, he did not mention it in their joint appearance. And we, Mr. President, inshallah, God willing, we are coming into a new opportunity, a new horizon. And if you believe the Times of Israel's founding editor David Horovitz, you will think it all went down so well for Abbas, that Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu will have some very sleepless nights.
Others include a Palestinian end to anti-Israel rhetoric and incitement of violence, administration officials said.More news: UK working to restore hospital systems after cyberattack
We want to establish peace between Israel and the Palestinians and we will achieve that...
"I'm committed to working with Israel and the Palestinians to reach an agreement", he said.
Throughout his campaign, Trump had promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and supported Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory - concepts that are both held in high regard by staunch pro-Israel groups.
Trump noted that over the course of his life he'd heard "that perhaps the toughest deal to make" is the one between Israel and Palestine.
On Wednesday, with Abbas at his side, Trump said he is willing to be a "mediator", "arbitrator", or "facilitator" - if that's what it takes to "get this done".
And in his White House meeting with Netanyahu on February 15, Trump raised another sensitive issue: Israeli settlements on land in dispute with the Palestinians.More news: Paris up for the Olympics
That move would likely spark Palestinian fury and is privately seen by many in the Israel and United States security establishments as needlessly inflammatory.
He quickly reasserted the goal of the creation of a Palestinian state as vital to any rejuvenated peace process.
Trump began his remarks in the Oval Office on Wednesday by praising Abbas for his work on the "very important" 1993 agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, called the Oslo I Accords, "which laid the foundation for peace".
President Donald Trump is expressing optimism for resumed peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will join the president at the White House.More news: Melissa McCarthy adds spice (and Spicer) as host of 'SNL'