While the White House has confirmed that since the Jerusalem Declaration there has been a complete disconnect between the Palestinian Authority and the Trump administration, it turns out that the previous administration has maintained contact with PA officials.
Maariv reported that former US secretary of state John Kerry met in London with a close associate of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Hussein Agha, for a long and open conversation about a variety of topics. Agha apparently reported details of the conversation to senior PA officials in Ramallah. A senior PA official confirmed to Maariv that the meeting took place.
Agha is one of Abbas’s closest associates and one of the veteran peacemakers with Israel.
He conducted the “London Track,” secret negotiations held from 2010 to 2013 between the emissaries of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attorney Yitzhak Molcho and Brig.-Gen. Mike Herzog, under the supervision and presence of Dennis Ross. Agha also authored with Yossi Beilin the Beilin-Abbas agreement in the 1990s. He is considered a staunch supporter of the peace process, very close to Abbas, and maintains an extensive network of contacts, including Israelis.
During the conversation, according to the report, Kerry asked Agha to convey a message to Abbas and ask him to “hold on and be strong.” Tell him, he told Agha, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.” (Read more from “Kerry Tells Palestinian Authority: Do Not Give in to Trump” HERE)