Trump sending top envoys to Middle East to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace
Aug 11, 2017
WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Trump will soon send a team of his top aides, including his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, on a tour of the Middle East to advance “substantive” Middle East peace talks.
The delegation “will be meeting with leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” a senior administration official said Friday in a statement sent to JTA.
The delegation will comprise Kushner, a top aide whose brief includes Middle East peace; Jason Greenblatt, the White House’s top peace negotiator; and Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser.
“As President Donald J. Trump has clearly stated, he is personally committed to achieving a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians that would help usher in an era of greater regional peace and prosperity,” the senior administration official said. “He believes that the restoration of calm and the stabilized situation in Jerusalem after the recent crisis on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif has created an opportunity to continue discussions and the pursuit of peace that began early in his administration.”
A lethal July 14 attack by terrorists that killed two Israelis police at the Temple Mount led Israel to install metal detectors. That was followed by increased tensions among Palestinians, who worship at the site, which is holy to Jews and Muslims. Israel removed the metal detectors following interventions by Jordan and by Trump administration officials.
The trip, which does not yet have dates, reflects Trump’s approach of brokering a broader Middle East peace and includes meetings with some of the regions most important players.
“The president has asked that these discussions focus on the path to substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, combating extremism, the situation in Gaza, including how to ease the humanitarian crisis there, strengthening our relations with regional partners and the economic steps that can be taken both now and after a peace deal is signed to ensure security, stability, and prosperity for the region,” the statement said.