Officials declined to give details of the talks but reaffirmed Trump’s view that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can be achieved only through direct negotiations between the two parties.
A senior White House official confirmed reports Monday that President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and fellow envoy Jason Greenblatt secretly visited Saudi Arabia last week to further the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
In a statement, the source said the visit is part of President Trump’s efforts to broker a deal between Ramallah and Jerusalem and repeated that President Trump “is personally committed to achieving a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians that would help usher in an era of greater regional peace and prosperity.
The talks followed meetings between U.S. representatives and counterparts from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and “other regional partners” on the sidelines of last month’s United Nations General Assembly, the State Department said.
Following the talks in Saudi Arabia, which Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell also reportedly attended, Kushner is believed to have returned to the United States while Greenblatt remained in the region to visit Cairo, Amman, and Ramallah, and met with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday.
Also Sunday, Palestinian officials said they believed the White House was moving towards a “dramatic announcement” that the Trump administration has adopted the two-state solution as its preferred option for solving the Israel-Palestinian stand-off, Israel Broadcast Corporation (Kan) reported. State Department officials in Jerusalem refused to comment on the report.
Apart from acknowledging that the talks had taken place, State Department officials in Israel and Washington declined to give details of the talks but reaffirmed the president’s view “that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties and that the United States will continue working closely with the parties to make progress toward that goal.”
“No deal will be imposed on Israelis and Palestinians; We are committed to facilitating a deal that improves conditions for both parties,” the statement said.