Trump adviser Kushner arrives to restart Israeli-Palestinians talks

US President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt are meeting Israel and Palestine leadership in hope to restart peace negotiations.

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Kushner accompanied Trump in May on his first visit as president to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Updated Jun 22, 2017

US President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner met Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday for talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Kushner, accompanied by Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, is expected to also meet Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas later on Wednesday in the West Bank before flying out.

"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."

Fresh attempts to broker peace

Greenblatt and Kushner are attempting to broker a deal to restart Israeli-Palestinians 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.

A White House official said this week that Trump "strongly believes that peace is possible," and working towards that goal is a "top priority".

Greenblatt and Kushner aim to build confidence between the two sides and expected to visit multiple times in coming months as they search for a "historic peace agreement", the official said.

The visit comes as this month marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Middleast war — a seminal event in which Israel occupied the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians claim these territories for their future independent state.

"The real question here is will the administration of Trump tell Israel that it is enough and they have to stop immediately all settlement activities, or they will accept this Israeli provocation?" said Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian official over the new settlements Israel is building in the northern West Bank. 

Palestinians say all settlements are illegal obstacles to peace. Trump has asked Israel to show "restraint" in its settlement construction.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies