WASHINGTON (JTA) — Arriving at an Israeli-Palestinian peace will “take time,” President Donald Trump’s top two negotiators said after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The United States officials and Israeli leadership underscored that forging peace will take time and stressed the importance of doing everything possible to create an environment conducive to peacemaking,” the White House said in a readout after the meeting Wednesday between Netanyahu and Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump and his Jewish son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, his special envoy to the region.
The cautious tone appeared to defer to Netanyahu’s preference to go slow in advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace. Netanyahu does not believe that the Palestinians are fully committed to coexistence and accuses their leadership of continuing to incite violence.
For their part, Palestinian Authority officials have enthusiastically embraced Trump’s hopes of reviving the talks and have dropped some previous prior demands, including that Israel freeze settlement building.
Greenblatt and Kushner have been tasked with reviving peace negotiations. Greenblatt has visited the region multiple times since Trump became president in January, while Kushner was making his first visit as an envoy. He accompanied Trump during his one-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian areas last month.
Also present at the meeting was David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel.
“The three United States officials discussed Israel’s priorities and potential next steps with Prime Minister Netanyahu, acknowledging the critical role Israel plays in the security of the region,” the readout said.
Greenblatt and Kushner also plan to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during their visit before returning to Washington, D.C., to brief top Trump administration foreign policy officials.