The US President’s special advisor on international negotiations is set to arrive in Israel today to discuss the possibility of restarting peace talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Donald Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt, is set to meet Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin today in Jerusalem, before sitting down with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.
Tomorrow, Greenblatt will travel to Ramallah to meet Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders. On Thursday, he is scheduled to meet Israel’s opposition leader and Chair of the Zionist Union Isaac Herzog.
Greenblatt’s agenda for the meetings remains unclear, with some media reports suggesting he will investigate the possibility of a three-way summit between Trump, Netanyahu and Abbas. Maariv suggests he is simply in the region to “put our feelers” over the possibility of restarting peace talks.
Others have speculated that Trump is interested in a wider peace initiative involving the likes of Egypt, Jordan and possibly Saudi Arabia. Haaretz says that Greenblatt will also discuss with Israeli officials some form of understanding over West Bank settlement construction.
On Friday, President Trump spoke for the first time with PA President Abbas. According to the White House, during the ten-minute conversation, Trump “emphasised his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal”.
However, he stressed that such an arrangement would need to “be negotiated directly between the two parties,” and that “the United States cannot impose a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians, nor can one side impose an agreement on the other”. Trump invited Abbas to the White House “in the near future”.
Speaking yesterday, Abbas described his call with Trump as “constructive” and claimed that the US President “confirmed his full commitment to the peace process and the two-state solution”. In a press conference at the White House alongside Netanyahu last month, Trump had appeared to entertain the possibility that the US may support other, alternative solutions.