Trump 'very committed' to Mideast peace - envoy Kushner

Bryan Strickland
August 25, 2017

Following visits in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, Trump administration envoys met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday, afterward traveling to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Donald Trump's team must commit to the two-state solution and opposing settlement construction before the USA president's peace push will move forward, Palestinian officials said Wednesday.

USA envoy for global negotiations Jason Greenblatt and deputy national security advisor Dina Powell also attended the meeting. The envoys are scheduled to meet Israeli lawmakers in Jerusalem and Palestinian officials in Ramallah later this week.

However, Palestinian leaders have voiced criticism saying that the USA has not clearly committed itself to the two-state solution, which would see a Palestinian state established in the West Bank and Gaza alongside Israel.

Ben-Ami's statement came after a spokeswoman for the State Department, Heather Nauert, said on Wednesday that the administration is not endorsing any specific formulas for ending the conflict, because that could create "bias towards one side or the other".

The Palestinian official who spoke with Al-Monitor said that although the PA's belligerent course of action could result in serious damage to its relationship with Washington, these were not empty threats and the ultimatum to the USA had been carefully considered.

In the US delegation's talks Wednesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, both sides also reaffirmed their commitment to boosting ties and countering terrorism, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. "They said they would consider it but then they didn't get back to me". The trip built up Trump's credibility and goodwill with Gulf leaders, offering him leverage on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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The crisis ended after the Islamic Waqf, the body that governs the al-Aqsa compound, told Palestinians to stop the boycott of the site following Israel's decision to remove its security restrictions. Such a vision has always been the worldwide consensus on what the future of the region should be: an Israeli state next to a Palestinian state.

She said the government has also established a new settlement for the first time since 1992 and has retroactively legalised unauthorised settlement outposts despite a commitment not to do so.

But since taking office, Trump decided not to move the embassy and has urged Israel to restrain settlement construction.

For his part, Netanyahu faces pressure from right-wing coalition partners not to give ground on Jewish settlement building in occupied territory that Palestinians seek for an independent state.

He is also facing a graft investigation that limits his room for political manoeuvre, Shapiro noted.

"Looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like", he said in February, at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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