Greenblatt, Kushner Go to Israel for Talks

25 August, 2017, 01:37 | Author: Earnest Huff
  • Mohammed Dahlan former leader of the Fatah movement in Gaza

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner (left), meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on August 24, 2017.

Ahead of the visit, sources close to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) said the Palestinian leader would give the Trump administration 45 days to declare a commitment to the two-state solution, or risk a Palestinian push on the worldwide stage to declare Palestinian statehood.

Netanyahu, who has known Kushner since he was a teenager, received the US delegation in Jerusalem.

"I'm very pleased to see you again, Jared, with your delegation", said Netanyahu.

Apart from efforts to end Israeli-Palestinian hostilities, the two sides also discussed encouraging "security, stability and Middle-Eastern-prosperity", SPA said. "I do not think the American envoys are coming carrying anything at all", he said.

At the start of their meeting, Kushner told Netanyahu that Trump is "committed to finding a solution that will bring prosperity and peace" to all the region's peoples.

"The relationship between Israel and America is stronger than ever and we really thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for his leadership and his partnership", Kushner added.

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"We reject the position of the current USA administration which have so far failed to declare a clear American stance that supports the Palestinian rights of ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state", Barghouthi said.

The meeting Thursday afternoon is part of a visit to the region by the USA diplomats.

Netanyahu instructed police in October 2015 to bar lawmakers from visiting the site in the Old City of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem which houses the Al-Aqsa mosque complex and the Dome of the Rock. Trump also has been less critical of Israeli settlement building then his predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, who repeatedly clashed with the Netanyahu government over the issue and demanded a settlement freeze as a precondition for peace talks, a stance the Palestinians then adopted as well.

Nevertheless, Kushner's third official visit to the region is an indication of Trump's interest in achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

"If Trump is really interested in the ultimate deal as he calls it, he needs to be tougher on Israel on the issue of settlements", Ms Ben-Nun said.

He said it was an option under consideration because "the American administration has not presented any initiative until now, while the Israelis continue with their settlement activities and refuse to abide by obligations they signed up to".

Ahmed Majdalani, a senior Palestinian Liberation Organisation official who is close to Abbas, told AFP on Thursday that one option if no progress is reached would be to dissolve the Palestinian Authority - a threat that has been made in the past.

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