Trump Admin Doesn't Expect Israeli-Palestinian Peace Breakthrough During UN General Assembly

Trump administration doesn't want to allow the diplomatic gathering to interfere with the slow and cautious pace it has taken so far regarding the peace process, senior official tells Haaretz

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after making a joint statement in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017.
Evan Vucci/AP

The Trump administration does not expect any kind of breakthrough regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process during the United Nations General Assembly this week despite their overall optimism, a senior White House official told Haaretz on Sunday.

U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the diplomatic gathering, but the senior official noted that "this week is not about the peace effort."

"Achieving peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians remains one of the president's highest priorities but the United Nations meetings will primarily focus on other issues and serve as check-in opportunities," the senior official added. 

The official noted that Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, recently returned from a visit to the region together with senior advisers Jason Greenblatt and Dina Powell. The official called the visit "very productive" and said that "those peace conversations are continuing at a steady pace and will be mostly separate from the United Nations meetings."

The Trump administration doesn't want to allow the diplomatic gathering to interfere with the slow and cautious pace it has taken so far regarding the peace process. 

"The UN General Assembly is going to fall out during any peace effort during any year, so we're just going to follow our own track in terms of what we have to do, making the progress we're going to be making," the senior official concluded. 

Trump is expected to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday and with Palestinian President Abbas on Wednesday.