Amid Jerusalem Crisis: Top Middle East Adviser Dina Powell Quits White House

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White House senior advisor Jared Kushner and U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell walk out to attend a joint statement by U.S. President Donald Trump and Singapore?s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S. October 23, 2017
Jared Kushner and U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell leave the West Wing in the White House in Washington, U.S. October 23, 2017Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON - Dina Powell, a senior Middle East policy adviser to President Trump who was involved in his efforts to advance an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, is quitting the White House, only two days after Trump announced he is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Her resignation was first reported on Friday by the Washington Post, which stated that she is leaving "on good terms" and will continue to advise the White House from outside of government.

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Powell joined the White House as deputy national security adviser in March, after advising the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, during the presidential transition period. She worked in the past as a State Department spokeswoman under George W. Bush, and specialized in outreach to the Arab world.

Powell speaks fluent Arabic and was heavily involved in Trump's Middle East policy. She joined many of the president's meetings with Arab leaders and had an important role in working on the administration's attempts to renew Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. 

Just on Sunday, Kushner described Powell as "very instrumental in helping us develop a regional economic plan for what could happen after a peace agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians is reached.

After the announcement of her departure, Kushner said in a statement that "Powell will continue to play a key role in our peace efforts and we will share more details on that in the future."

With violence escalating in the West Bank, Gaza and Jersualem in the wake of Trump's annnoucement, Powell's departure could make it more difficult for the administration to get the peace talks back on track.

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