Trump envoy Jared Kushner and a USA diplomatic delegation met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after stops in Jordan, Egypt and the Persian Gulf, and were scheduled to hold talks later Thursday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.
On the eve of the visit, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he still does not understand what is the USA strategy regarding this effort that is ongoing.
Kushner arrived in Israel on Wednesday evening, heading a delegation which also includes U.S. envoy for the peace process Jason Greenblatt, Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell and was also joined by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. "And I think that all of them are within our reach", Netanyahu, welcoming Kushner to his Tel Aviv office, said in a video clip released by the U.S. Embassy.
"I don't see him in a position to be forward-leaning and creative and particularly interested in the details of peacemaking, especially given the long odds based on the circumstances of the other two leaders", Shapiro said of Trump.
"We have a lot of things to talk about". Parallel movement, I think, is the way to go.
Trump hailed Kushner and Netanyahu after the three-and-a-half hour meeting, writing in an Instagram post that "there is no doubt that our relationship is stronger than ever".
On Wednesday, the United States delegation is expected to arrive in Israel, the media outlet said citing a White House aide.
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Kushner, the 36-year-old commercial real estate magnate whose marriage to Trump's eldest daughter has thrust the otherwise inexperienced diplomat into the center of U.S. foreign relations, now wields a hefty foreign affairs portfolio in the Trump administration.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will hold a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan next week.
Kushner meanwhile said that "President Trump is very optimistic and hopes for a better future for the Palestinian people and the Israeli people. So we leave it up to them to be able to work that through".
Trump took office speaking of an "ultimate deal" that could be struck between the Israelis and Palestinians.
After initially welcoming the election of Trump, the Palestinians have expressed increasing frustration with what they say is a failure by the USA president to offer a clear vision for peace.
Before the meeting, Ahmad Majdalani, an Abbas aide, had warned that the American efforts would come to naught unless Washington publicly recognised the need for a two-state solution to the conflict and a halt on Israeli settlement construction - steps it has refused to take despite repeated proddings from Mr Abbas. "There is no government that does more for the settlement in the land of Israel than this government under my leadership", he said.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki told the Voice of Palestine radio station on Thursday that the Palestinians would be seeking "clear answers" from Kushner on settlements and independence.