Trump's Peace Envoys Meet Jordanian King Day After He Hosted Netanyahu

Ahead of Israel visit, Kushner and Greenblatt discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and Gaza with Jordan's Abdullah

Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon
Washington
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King Abdullah II of Jordan, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, April 5, 2017
King Abdullah II of Jordan, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, April 5, 2017Credit: Bloomberg
Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon
Washington

WASHINGTON – A day after hosting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Amman, Jordanian King Abdullah met on Tuesday with Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special envoy to the Middle East peace process.

The meeting is part of a week-long trip by Kushner and Greenblatt to the region, which is focused on finalizing the Trump administration's peace plan and promoting economic projects in Gaza.

The fact that Kushner and Greenblatt arrived to Amman a day after Netanyahu visited Abdullah there for the first time since 2016 will likely be interpreted as a sign of Jordan's role in the promotion of the upcoming American peace plan.

Netanyahu's office stated Monday that the peace plan was one of the main subjects during his meeting with Abdullah.

Kushner and Greenblatt's Mideast trip will include stops in Israel, Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This will be the envoys' second visit to the region in a month, after they briefly visited Israel last month to attend the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

The Trump administration is trying to convince the Arab monarchies in the Gulf to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in economic projects in the Gaza Strip, in an attempt to calm the security situation there and generate momentum before the White House presents its Middle East peace plan. The trip to the Middle East is partly meant to garner support for the projects.

On Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestinian leadership rejects U.S. President Donald Trump's administration's plan to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip, because they believe it is intended to create a diplomatic rift between Gaza and the West Bank.

Relations between the United States and the Palestinian Authority have been strained since President Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel in December 2017, and even more so after the Jerusalem embassy was dedicated in May.

The Palestinian Authority has frozen all interactions with the American counterpart since and Jason Greenblatt has engaged into a heated exchange with Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat in Haaretz.

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