Kushner leads USA delegation for peace talks in Middle East

Adjust Comment Print

"This is nonsense. This comment was never made", the senior official told Haaretz.

"We know that this delegation is working for peace, and we are working with it to achieve what President Trump has called a peace deal", Abbas said at the beginning of the meeting, according to the Palestinian Authority news site Wafa. It has to be workable to both sides.

The Palestinian source also said Kushner told Abbas the USA was under the impression the PA president does not trust the White House and stressed that the United States is working hard toward creating the conditions for a peace deal.

For weeks Palestinian officials have called on the United States to back a two-state solution and ask Israel to stop building settlements in the occupied West Bank, which most of the global community considers illegal and an obstacle to the creation of any future Palestinian state.

It's not an uncommon threat for the Palestinian leadership to make.

A senior White House official strongly denied on Saturday a report in Arab newspaper al-Hayat which said that Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Israel will not be asked to freeze settlement building because that could lead to a breakdown of Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

"President Trump is very optimistic and hopes for a better future for the Palestinian people and the Israeli people", Kushner said.

But at the same time, Majdalani said they could also unilaterally declare Palestinian statehood. The two leaders will discuss the recent developments in al-Aqsa and Jerusalem alongside the peace process in Palestine, Kalın 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".

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

"I believe (Trump's) leverage has declined considerably, at least from the point-of-view of getting major concessions or a commitment to a major programme toward two states from the leaders, so that's why I think the shift should come to the more practical on-the-ground steps", he said.