Trump administration reiterates: Israeli settlements do not help the peace process

"We face a renewed opportunity with the support of President Trump", he said, a day after USA envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt left the region after meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, without reaching any proclaimed results.

"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.

Kushner travelled to Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, for two hours of talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after iftar, the evening meal that breaks the daily Ramadan fast.

The visit is part of an effort to restart negotiations for the first time in three years.

Netanyahu told Jared Kushner that 'this is a flawless opportunity to pursue our common goals (between Tel Aviv and Washington) for security, prosperity and peace, ' the Israeli PM told the United States visitor before the meeting.

Mr Kushner will join Jason Greenblatt, Mr Trump's chief negotiator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the meetings.

The sources described the meeting, which included Jared Kushner and United States envoy Jason Greenblatt, as tense and not successful.


The White House appeared to play down expectations for a breakthrough ahead of the visit, saying that "forging a historic peace agreement will take time" and that Kushner and Greenblatt will likely make "many visits" to the region.

Nabil Shaath, a senior advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, read a speech on Abbas' behalf at the annual Herzliya security conference near Tel Aviv.

Efforts by the previous USA administration of Barack Obama, led by then-Secretary of State John Kerry, to negotiate between Israel and Palestine resulted in a total breakdown of talks between both sides.

Kushner, a 36-year-old real estate developer with little experience of global diplomacy or political negotiation, arrived in Israel on Wednesday morning and was due to spend barely 20 hours on the ground.

In this regard, the official noted that a Palestinian delegation of five members would travel to Washington next month to meet with a U.S. counterpart committee to discuss priority issues set by the U.S. side.

The sources said that though the American delegation sympathized more with the Israeli side, Palestinian leaders will wait to see what comes of Abbas' meeting in Washington, slated for next month.

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