Pessimism as Kushner sets off for Israeli-Palestinian talks

by Antonio Miles August 28, 2017, 1:06
Pessimism as Kushner sets off for Israeli-Palestinian talks

In June, Al-Hayat reported that Trump is "considering pulling out of peace talks" between Israel and the Palestinians because of the two sides' positions.

Before arriving in the region, Kushner, along with a delegation that includes Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy Adviser Dina Powell, visited the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, reports CNN.

"We highly appreciate President Trump's efforts to strike a historical peace deal، a statement he repeated more than one time during our meetings in Washington، Riyadh and Bethlehem،" Abbas said at the start of his meeting with Kushner، according to the PA's official Wafa news agency.

Chairman Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, issued his own statement, saying, "President Abbas's meeting with the USA delegation was constructive, deep and positive, and all issues of common interest were seriously addressed".

Prior to meeting with Abbas, the American delegation met with Netanyahu last Thursday afternoon, with Kushner stating at the gathering that the US-Israel relationship "is stronger than ever".

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"We have clearly emphasized to the Americans the importance of having a public statement that has a commitment to the two-state solution", said Ashraf Khatib, a spokesman for the negotiation affairs department of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Shapiro, now a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies think-tank in Tel Aviv, said the focus should instead be on short-term goals such as improving the Palestinian economy in order to keep the possibility of a two-state solution alive.

"We have told the Americans that we are committed to the American effort،" Khatib said. "We know that things are hard and complicated, but there is nothing impossible with good efforts".

The Palestinian administration had reportedly expressed pessimism at US peace efforts, and Abbas had reportedly sought a USA commitment to endorse the two-state solution. It has to be workable to both sides.

Part of Kushner's trip was meant to reach out to key nations that he sees as part of the process of bringing peace between Israel and Palestine. One of Abbas's close confidantes has said it is not logical that Hamas has a government in Gaza and the PA funds it.


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