Middle East

Trump's envoy tries to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace process

Jason Greenblatt, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jason Greenblatt, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  (Prime Minister's Office)

President Trump’s special envoy for the Middle East peace process concluded his second day in the region Tuesday as he tries to revive discussions between the Israelis and Palestinians.

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Jason Greenblatt met first Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The meeting lasted almost five hours, and the two discussed settlement construction in the West Bank as well as efforts to promote the peace process.

He followed up Tuesday with a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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In a tweet following the discussion, Greenblatt said, "President Abbas & I discussed how to make progress toward peace, building capacity of Palestinian security forces & stopping incitement."

He added that the two "had a positive, far-ranging exchange about the current situation."

Greenblatt’s visit marks the first major attempt by the new U.S. administration to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after two months that have seen officials hesitate on support for the two-state solution, the location of the U.S. embassy and settlements.

The office of Netanyahu, one of the first foreign dignitaries to visit Trump in office, said in an earlier statement that he “believes that under President Trump's leadership, it is possible to advance peace between Israel and all its neighbors, including the Palestinians, and he looks forward to working closely with President Trump to achieve that goal."

Greenblatt also reaffirmed Trump's commitment to Israel's security and the effort to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve a lasting peace through direct negotiations.