Kush­ner to visit Mideast soon to ex­plore peace ne­go­ti­a­tions

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Anne Gearan

Pres­i­den­tial son-in-law and ad­viser Jared Kush­ner and two other top White House aides will soon visit Is­rael, the West Bank and sev­eral Arab cap­i­tals to ex­plore prospects for Mideast peace ne­go­ti­a­tions now that a pe­riod of un­rest has sub­sided, a White House of­fi­cial said Fri­day.

The trip, span­ning sev­eral days later this month, is meant to show con­tin­ued U.S. com­mit­ment de­spite the weeks-long spate of vi­o­lence and po­lit­i­cal up­heaval in Jerusalem and Jor­dan this sum­mer, which had threat­ened to boil over into open con­flict.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­mains op­ti­mistic about a deal re­solv­ing the decades­long con­flict be­tween Is­rael and the Pales­tini­ans, and he is seek­ing ad­vice and sup­port among Arab states Jor­dan, Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Egypt and Qatar, said the se­nior of­fi­cial. The of­fi­cial re­quested anonymity to de­scribe the evolv­ing diplo­macy.

Trump, the of­fi­cial said, re­mains “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.”

Trump is send­ing Kush­ner, Mideast ne­go­tia­tor Ja­son Green­blatt and deputy na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Dina Pow­ell in the hope of cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the calm fol­low­ing the cri­sis in­volv­ing Is­rael’s in­stal­la­tion of new se­cu­rity mea­sures for Pales­tinian wor­shipers at a dis­puted Jerusalem holy site.

The cri­sis, the first dur­ing Trump’s pres­i­dency, forced a pause in the phased ap­proach Trump’s ad­vis­ers have adopted to ad­dress the con­flict. Green­blatt and Kush­ner first em­barked on a lis­ten­ing and learn­ing ef­fort that ac­knowl­edged their new­ness to the long con­flict and en­trenched po­si­tions. The men had be­gun to move to­ward more sub­stan­tive con­ver­sa­tions when vi­o­lence erupted in July.

“Pres­i­dent Trump has pre­vi­ously noted that achiev­ing an en­dur­ing Is­raeli-Pales­tinian peace agree­ment will be dif­fi­cult but he re­mains op­ti­mistic that peace is pos­si­ble,” the of­fi­cial said. “To en­hance the chances for peace, all par­ties need to en­gage in cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive to peace­mak­ing while af­ford­ing the ne­go­tia­tors and fa­cil­i­ta­tors the time and space they need to reach a deal.”

The trip comes about three weeks be­fore Trump is ex­pected to meet with Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu dur­ing the United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly ses­sion in Septem­ber.

It is not yet clear whether Trump will see Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas dur­ing the U.N. gath­er­ing. Trump has in­vited both lead­ers to the White House, and the pres­i­dent re­marked dur­ing Ab­bas’s visit in May that Mideast peace might not be as hard as is com­monly thought.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.