Kushner leads USA delegation for peace talks in Middle East


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also slated to meet Trump on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meet in NY next month.

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner (left), meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on August 24, 2017.

If one were to read only the diplo-speak through which the Trump Administration Mideast peace envoys summarized their just-concluded trip to Jerusalem and Ramallah, it would be apparent that there was little of note to report.

The American delegation told Abbas that the Trump administration will first work towards strengthening security and financial relations between the two sides.

"He remains optimistic that progress toward a deal can be achieved".

President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner led last week's mission, with the delegation also including Jason Greenblatt, envoy for worldwide negotiations, and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.

US officials have said that they have not ruled out a two-state solution but that it is up to the two sides, not them, to agree on a way forward.

The official is quoted telling Haaretz "This is nonsense".

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"But given the very poor prospects of a significant political breakthrough, I'd be surprised it if warrants a major investment by the president". That has rankled Palestinian officials, who say negotiations without any set parameters will only benefit the Israeli side. It has to be workable to both sides.

"Without a clear American commitment to the two-state solution and stopping settlements and ending the occupation، we don't expect much from this administration،" he added.

The two-state solution envisions an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel and has been the focus of global diplomacy for years.

Signalling their frustration, some Palestinian leaders have spoken of taking a harder line in recent days.

An Israeli settler ran over and killed an 8-year-old Palestinian girl Saturday near the Hamra Junction on Route 90 in the occupied West Bank's Nablus district.

But at the same time, Majdalani said they could also unilaterally declare Palestinian statehood. "They don't talk about the principle of two countries, they come after having adopted the claims of the Israelis", said Aloul.

Shapiro, now a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies think-tank in Tel Aviv, said the focus should instead be on short-term goals such as improving the Palestinian economy in order to keep the possibility of a two-state solution alive.