Trump’s envoy, in Israel on a learning trip, expressed the President’s optimism for achieving peace in the region.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem on Monday for over five hours with Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations.
Greenblatt is in the country for a week-long visit, “to do a lot of listening, discussing the views of the leadership in the region, getting their perspectives on the current situation and how progress towards eventual peace can be made,” as State Department spokesman Mark Toner put it. He added this is, “the first of what could become many visits to the region.”
Netanyahu and Greenblatt reaffirmed the joint commitment of both Israel and the US to advance, “a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians that strengthens the security of Israel and enhances stability in the region,” the Prime Minister’s Office stated.
Netanyahu told Greenblatt he believes under Trump’s leadership, it is possible to advance an encompassing regional diplomatic solution, which includes several Arab countries, as well as the Palestinians, and that he looks forward to working closely with Trump to achieve that goal.
Greenblatt reaffirmed Trump’s commitment to Israel’s security and to the effort to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve a lasting peace through direct negotiations.
Netanyahu and Greenblatt also discussed Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria in the hope of “working out an approach that is consistent with the goal of advancing peace and security.”
While Trump expressed general support for Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria and even for construction there, he asked Netanyahu during his recent visit to Washington to curb the pace of expansion.
Greenblatt stressed President Trump believes in the importance of both growth in the Palestinian economy and improving their quality of life.
Netanyahu assured Greenblatt he was fully committed to broadening prosperity for Palestinians and sees it as a means of bolstering the prospects for peace.
Prior to his White House role, Greenblatt, an Orthodox Jew from Teaneck, N.J., worked as a real estate lawyer with Trump for two decades. He also advised Trump on Israel during last year’s election campaign.
Abbas Gets White House Invite
Greenblatt’s meetings come just days after Trump invited Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas to visit the White House following their first phone conversation since Trump took office in late January.
During the conversation with Abbas, Trump, “emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal,” according to the White House.
During the conversation, Trump underscored a peace agreement must be negotiated directly between the two parties, and that the United States will work closely with Palestinian and Israeli leadership to make progress toward that goal. The President noted the United States cannot impose a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians, nor can one side impose an agreement on the other, the White House stated.