US President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner had a “productive” meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, the White House has said. Kushner, accompanied by Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, was also meeting Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in the West Bank yesterday. “The meeting was productive and the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to advancing President Trump’s goal of a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians that enhances stability in the region,” the White House said.
“This is an opportunity to pursue our common goals of security, prosperity and peace,” Netanyahu told Kushner in a short video released by the premier’s office. “I welcome you here in that spirit. I know of your efforts, the president’s efforts, and I look forward to working with you.” Greenblatt and Kushner are attempting to broker a deal to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, frozen since US-led talks collapsed in 2014. Both men accompanied Trump in May on his first visit as president to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
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The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, attended the meeting with Netanyahu alongside Kushner and Greenblatt. “The three United States officials discussed Israel’s priorities and potential next steps with Prime Minister Netanyahu, acknowledging the critical role Israel plays in the security of the region,” it said in a statement. “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.” A White House official said this week Trump “strongly believes that peace is possible,” and that Greenblatt and Kushner expect to visit the region multiple times in coming months in a bid to build confidence between the two sides.