At their meeting in Ramallah this week, senior Trump administration official Jared Kushner asked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to hold off on any diplomatic initiatives against Israel for four months to give the US time to formulate a “comprehensive diplomatic plan” to revive the long-dormant peace process, Israel Hayom reported on Sunday.
A senior Palestinian official cited by Israel Hayom said the plan was supposed to “include a set timetable for the parties to discuss most of the conflict’s core issues.”
Abbas, according to the report, “agreed in principle to Kushner’s request, but asked for [President Donald] Trump’s personal guarantee and commitment to the plan and the two-state vision.”
The two agreed that Trump would meet with Abbas at the UN General Assembly gathering in New York City next month, the report went on to say.
Kushner was accompanied at Thursday’s sit-down with Abbas by Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell and the Trump administration’s international negotiations representative Jason Greenblatt.
An American readout said the meeting was “productive” and “focused on how to begin substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.”
“Both sides agreed to continue with the US-led conversations as the best way to reach a comprehensive peace deal,” it went on to say.
Kushner, Powell and Greenblatt also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday. That meeting, an American readout said, “continued the dialogue on advancing President Donald J. Trump’s goal of a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
“The two sides agreed that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between those two parties and discussed substantive issues and the best way to start talks,” it noted. “Both the Americans and the Israelis acknowledged that the meeting was an important step, but that forging a lasting peace will take time.”
(C) 2017 . The Algemeiner . Barney Breen-Portnoy