Kushner bolsters Trump Middle East peace push

    Updated: June 22, 2017 at 7:07 am EST  See Comments

    AL-Monitor — US President Donald Trump dispatched his son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner to Israel today in one of the strongest signs to date of his apparently sincere interest in pursuing peace with the Palestinians. After Kushner held more than two hours of meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, however, the White House acknowledged that forging the ultimate diplomatic deal won’t be a cakewalk.

    “The United States officials and Israeli leadership underscored that forging peace will take time and the importance of doing everything possible to create an environment conducive to peacemaking,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting. The meeting also included Trump’s special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and Netanyahu chief of staff Yoav Horowitz.

    Kushner and Greenblatt later met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. They’ll then return to Washington to brief Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and “continue the conversation about next steps,” the White House said.

    The fact that Trump sent his son-in-law to bolster Greenblatt’s peace efforts shows leaders in the region the priority the president places on advancing a peace deal, analysts said.

    “I think, first of all, there is a message: The US is still committed and serious,” Ghaith al-Omari, a former member of the Palestinian negotiating team, told Al-Monitor. “The fact that Kushner is with [Greenblatt] is an indication of high-level interest from the administration and also strengthens Greenblatt. It shows he is not working on his own; he has the support of Kushner.”

    The remainder of this article is available in its entirety at AL- Monitor

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