Trump shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after making statements to the press in the occupied West Bank City of Bethlehem in 2017 [File: Evan Vucci/Reuters]

US President Donald Trump is “very fond” of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is willing to engage him on the US peace proposal at the right time, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday.

Kushner, briefing reporters on a conference call, also hinted the US peace plan might call on Palestinian refugees to permanently settle where they are rather than return to original homelands, a position likely to raise sharp criticism from Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) have refused to deal with the Trump administration for 18 months, accusing

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