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Monday, July 10, 2017

Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt heads to Israel

Special White House envoy Jason Greenblatt will be returning to Israel on Monday for what will be his sixth trip to the Jewish state since President Donald Trump took office on January 20th.
 
American and Israeli officials say Greenblatt will be meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, Haaretz reported, as he lays the groundwork for a Middle East peace summit to be hosted by the US, tentatively scheduled for the end of the summer.
 
In June, Greenblatt was accompanied by President Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, for meetings with senior Israeli and PA leaders.
 
The Trump White House is hoping to extract assurances from both sides that they will attend the upcoming summit, and pledge by the end of the summit to resume direct negotiations. Talks between Israel and the PA have been frozen since 2014.
 
During this week’s trip, Greenblatt will meet with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. A White House official said the meetings with Friedman were the main purpose of the visit, Haaretz reported.
 
“This trip is an interim visit as talks continue about potential next steps,” the official said. “President Trump has made it clear that working toward achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians is a top priority for him.”