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July 9, 2017 1:29 pm

With Pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal Remaining ‘Top Priority’ for US, Trump Envoy Returns to Middle East

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a past meeting in Jerusalem. Photo: US Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Jason Greenblatt — President Donald Trump’s international negotiations representative — is returning to Israel on Sunday, two weeks after his most-recent visit, during which he was joined by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

According to a White House official, the main purpose of Greenblatt’s latest trip is to meet with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman “now that the ambassador is on the ground and fully installed in his position.” Friedman arrived in Israel in mid-May.

“Greenblatt will also likely be taking meetings relevant to both the Israelis and the Palestinians,” the White House official said. “This trip is an interim visit as talks continue about potential next steps. President Trump has made it clear that working towards achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians is a top priority for him.”

Last month, Greenblatt and Kushner met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. After those meetings, the White House noted that “forging peace will take time” and it emphasized the “importance of doing everything possible to create an environment conducive to peacemaking.”

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