Abbas to meet with United States delegation on Thursday

Israeli police detains Palestinian in Jerusalem for possession of knife
US Diplomatic Team in Mideast Re-Establishing Ties With Allies
Author

24 August, 2017

On August 11, a senior White House official said in a statement that Trump would send Kushner to the Middle East to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the issue of global terrorism, and crisis in Gaza. No mention was made of the row between Riyadh and Doha.

On Tuesday, Ahmad Majdalani, a top aide to Abbas, said the Palestinians asked Kushner for the USA position on two key issues - Israeli settlements and support for Palestinian independence - during his last visit to the region in June.

The White House announced the trip earlier this month, saying it was part of a regional tour including meetings with leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Kushner was charged with helping to broker a deal between Israelis and Palestinians after Trump took office.

Kushner arrived to a chilly reception in Egypt, where the Foreign Ministry appeared to have cancelled a meeting with the envoy over the administration's decision to cut almost $100 million in military and economic aid and delay almost $200 million in military financing.

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He also accompanied Trump to Jerusalem during the president's first trip in May.

"I have met with Trump's emissaries to the Middle East about 20 times since the beginning of his tenure, and they repeatedly emphasized to me how much they believe in and are committed to the two-state solution and to the cessation of construction in the settlements", Abbas said.

Abbas recently griped that he doesn't understand the Trump administrations policy toward Israel - complaining that the administration won't go public with its support for a two-state solution and a halt to Israeli settlements.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Abbas's Fatah party, said they would be demanding a clear commitment from Kushner and Greenblatt to an independent Palestinian state. His administration has been coy about criticising the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, which Palestinians and the global community view as a major impediment to peace.


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