U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that “now is the time” to work toward an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The two leaders spoke on the phone shortly before Putin met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. According to statements released by both the White House and the Kremlin, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was an important part of the conversation between the two leaders.

In the statement, the White House said that after Trump offered his condolences to Putin for the fatal plane crash that took place in Moscow over the weekend, the Russian President noted his meeting with Abbas later in the day, “and President Trump said that now is the time to work toward an enduring peace agreement.” During their meeting, Abbas told Putin he could no longer accept the role of the United States as a mediator in talks with Israel because of Washington’s behaviour, the Interfax news agency reported. READ MORE