A U.S. delegation led by President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, held meetings on Tuesday with the king of Jordan and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia as part of an attempt to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The meetings took place ahead of the delegation's expected arrival in Israel on Wednesday evening, and were focused on creating regional support for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
- Abbas: I met Trump's envoys 20 times and still don't understand their peace plan
- Forget about two states, how about three: Five creative (and bizarre) ideas for Mideast peace
- Jason Greenblatt's challenge
Kushner is accompanied on this visit by Trump's special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Jason Greenblatt, and by Dina Powell, the Deputy National Security Adviser. As of Tuesday night, the administration has remained mum regarding the group's schedule and meetings; the only reports about their activities in the region came out in local media outlets of the countries they had already visited.
Jordanian media reported that in Amman, Kushner, Greenblatt and Powell met with King Abdullah and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. Jordan's ambassador to the United States, Dina Kawar, also attended the meeting. The Jordan Times wrote that "talks focused on efforts to push forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and re-launch serious and effective negotiations between the two sides based on the two-state solution."
A statement by the Jordanian Royal Court following Tuesday's meeting emphasized that the two-state solution is "the only way to end the conflict." However, more than half a year into its diplomatic effort, the Trump administration has not yet expressed support for this solution. This fact has created great frustration on the Palestinian side and has caused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to criticize the American negotiating team earlier this week.
In Saudi Arabia, a report on Al-Arabiya, an international news channel supported by the ruling family, stated that "During the meeting, both sides’ leadership affirmed their commitment to strengthening their relationship and close cooperation. The two sides also agreed to support their efforts aimed at achieving real and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians and achieving security, stability and prosperity of the Middle East and beyond."
The delegation led by Kushner is expected to meet separately with Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday. Netanyahu will arrive to the meeting following a short, one-day visit to Moscow during which he will discuss the recent events in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin.