Kushner's Mideast peace push met with Palestinian skepticism

Donald Trump's team must commit to a two-state solution and oppose Israeli settlement construction before the USA president's peace push can move forward, Palestinian officials said Wednesday.

Abbas expressed frustration with the U.S. on Sunday, saying he has met with the American representatives 20 times since Trump took office in January but still had no clear vision of what type of peace plan they had in mind.

Trump is "very committed to achieving a solution here that will be able to bring prosperity and peace to all people in this area", he said after meeting Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.

Kushner, Greenblatt, and Dina Powell, White House deputy national security advisor for strategy, have met over the past two days with leaders in the region, including leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the White House said.

Kushner, the 36-year-old commercial real estate magnate whose marriage to Trump's eldest daughter has thrust the otherwise inexperienced diplomat into the center of USA foreign relations, now wields a hefty foreign affairs portfolio in the Trump administration.

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Greenblatt and David Friedman, the USA ambassador to Israel, had already pitched the idea privately to Coates.

Kushner, who is President Donald Trump's son-in-law, was holding separate talks with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, seeking to breathe life into a White House effort that appears to have gotten off to a slow start.

"This may create a new chance to reach a settlement based on the two-state solution and the Arab initiative and stop the current deterioration of the peace process".

A U.S. official said earlier that Trump "remains optimistic that progress toward a deal can be achieved".

"Renewed U.S. engagement with our Middle East allies is welcome and badly needed", said Josh Block, president and CEO of The Israel Project, a nonpartisan educational organization. They said they would consider it but then they didn't get back to me'. But he has since given few details on his vision for peace, managing to frustrate both sides.

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Abbas also faces internal political problems, as his Fatah party struggles with Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza, for control and power in the Palestinian political sphere.

When Trump met Netanyahu at the White House in February, he said he would support a single state if it led to peace, delighting right-wing Israelis who want to annex most of the West Bank, but raising deep concern among Palestinians. "And that will make any possible concessions to the Palestinians very hard, unless the administration can produce meaningful public Arab outreach toward Israel".

In May, Kushner and Greenblatt both accompanied the President on his visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to discuss a peace agreement.

"I am happy to see you and the effort you're leading on behalf of the [US] president with Jason [Greenblatt] and other members of your team", Netanyahu added.

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