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2017-08-25 digital edition
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August 25, 2017  RSS feed
World News

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Kushner visits Middle East in bid to restart peace talks

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and a delegation of American diplomats trying to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The meeting Thursday, Aug. 24, is part of a visit to the region by the U.S. diplomats. Kushner and the group were meeting that evening with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

The delegation led by Kushner, who is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, includes special Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt; the deputy national security adviser for strategy, Dina Powell; and the ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

“We have a lot of things to talk about: how to advance peace, stability and security in our region – prosperity, too. And I think all of them are within our reach,” Netanyahu told Kushner.

Kushner responded that “We really appreciate the commitment of the prime minister and his team to engaging very thoughtfully and respectfully in the way that the president has asked them to do so.”

Abbas told a delegation of Israeli lawmakers earlier in the week, referring to the U.S. leadership, “I don’t even know how they are dealing with us because his entire administration is in chaos.” He told the lawmakers he does not expect any breakthroughs.

“I have met with Trump envoys about 20 times since the beginning of his term as president of the United States,” Abbas said, Haaretz reported.

“Every time they repeatedly stressed to me how much they believe and are committed to a two-state solution and a halt to construction in the settlements,” Abbas said. “I have pleaded with them to say the same thing to Netanyahu, but they refrained. They said they would consider it but then they didn’t get back to me.”

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