Kushner meets with Netanyahu, Abbas in pursuit of Mideast peace

Jared Kushner

"I know of your efforts and the president's efforts, and I look forward to working with you to reach these common goals".

Later, Kushner will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Trump has described peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians as "the ultimate deal" and made it a priority.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday spoke by telephone with the newly appointed Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia to congratulate him on his recent elevation as next in line for the Saudi throne.

Reuters reported earlier this week that the White House has been holding behind-the-scene talks since Trump's visit to the region at the end of May, which reportedly was planned by Kushner.

Kushner replied: "The president sends his best regards and it's an honor to be here with you".

Jason Greenblatt, Trump's advisor to Israel who is accompanying Kushner on his trip, said previously in an interview with Israel's Army Radio, "It is certainly not Mr. Trump's view that settlement activities should be condemned and that it is an obstacle for peace, because it is not an obstacle for peace".

"The United States officials and Israeli leadership underscored that forging peace will take time and stressed the importance of doing everything possible to create an environment conducive to peacemaking", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said. The Palestinians claim these territories for their future independent state.




The Trump administration again said that Israel's settlement expansion does not help the peace process.

Kushner's arrival in Israel comes at a contentious time in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Since then, all attempts to revive talks have failed, due mainly to Israel's insistence on continuing to build Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

In relation to this meeting, it's worth noting Netanyahu and Kushner's father are friends.

But when he met Netanyahu in Washington in February, Trump said he was not fixed on two states saying, "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like".

Shortly after arriving, Kushner visited the family of Hadas Malka, a border police officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian while she was on duty in East Jerusalem's Old City last week.

Diggers break the ground for a new settlement near the settlement of Shilo, West Bank, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Kushner said Trump asked him to personally convey the condolences of the American people.

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