White House Denies Kushner Said Settlement Freeze Could Bring Down Netanyahu

Aug 28, 2017, 01:19
White House Denies Kushner Said Settlement Freeze Could Bring Down Netanyahu

Well-informed Palestinian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that no significant breakthrough occurred at the Abbas-Kushner meeting.

Both sides agreed to continue with the USA -led conversations as the best way to reach a peace deal, the State Department statement said.

"We know that this delegation is working for peace, and we are working with it to achieve what President [Donald] Trump has called a peace deal", Abbas said at the beginning of the meeting, according to the Palestinian Authority's news site Wafa.

The report of the planned USA proposal came amid recent signs of disillusionment from Abbas over U.S. peace efforts.

US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace envoy and son-in-law Jared Kushner promised to present a peace plan within four months if the Palestinian Authority refrains from taking steps against Israel in worldwide forums, a senior Palestinian source told the Israel Hayom newspaper on Sunday.

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The U.S. team is in the Middle East to find a way to kick-start the peace process, which Trump has described as the "ultimate deal".

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is part of a delegation that traveled to the Middle East for peace talks, the Trump administration said Tuesday.

Trump is "very committed to achieving a solution here that will be able to bring prosperity and peace to all people in the area", Kushner said ahead of his meeting with Netanyahu, which took place earlier Thursdayy.

Despite his recent pessimism, Abbas sounded a positive note during his meeting with Kushner. "We know that things are hard and complicated، but there is nothing impossible with good efforts،" he added.

Chairman Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, issued his own statement, saying, "President Abbas's meeting with the U.S. delegation was constructive, deep and positive, and all issues of common interest were seriously addressed".

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Hamas has blasted Abbas for his pressure moves, accusing him of besieging the Strip alongside Israel.

The American delegation told Abbas that the Trump administration will first work towards strengthening security and financial relations between the two sides.

Kushner met with PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday، who said he highly appreciated Trump's peace efforts. "We hope they can work together and live together for many years and have a much better life".

According to Al-Hayat, a USA delegation headed by Kushner told Abbas this week that "stopping settlement construction is impossible because it will cause the collapse of the Netanyahu government".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also slated to meet Trump on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meet in NY next month.

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