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Kushner and Trump envoy to meet Netanyahu, Abbas

Jared Kushner was at President Donald Trump's side when he visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City this month
MANDEL NGAN (AFP/File)
Complicating the negotiations, on Tuesday, Israel broke ground for its first West Bank settlement in 25 years.

Jared Kushner, a chief adviser to President Donald Trump, is arriving in Israel on Wednesday to embark on a quest for elusive Middle East peace.

In Israel, Kushner will be joining Jason Greenblatt, the White House's special envoy, for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The presence of Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, is an indication of the importance the president places on making a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. White House officials played down expectations of a dramatic breakthrough during the visit, the New York Times reported.

Kushner is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu in Jerusalem and afterwards, to go to the Palestinian West Bank to meet with Abbas.

Despite leaving the country, Kushner is embroiled by investigations into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, or his own business dealings.

Along with Kushner, special envoy Greenblatt has already visited Israel and the West Bank several times.

Ahead of Jared Kushner’s visit to the region, today I met with Palestinian leaders to further our discussions on how to achieve peace.

To promote negotiations, Greenblatt got the Israeli government to agree to "slow down in construction of Jewish settlements," reported the New York Times. Yet on Tuesday, Israel broke ground for its first new settlement in 25 years.

Also on Tuesday, Greenblatt prayed at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, along with paying a condolence call to an Israeli soldier killed in an attack on Friday. He met with Netanyahu and Abbas earlier in the day.

Greenblatt was previously an attorney for the Trump Organization who held no diplomatic experience prior to joining the administration.

The two White House officials will be delving into the arcane details of Israeli-Palestinian peace and negotiating a two-state solution. Major issues on the table include borders, security, refugees, settlements, and the status of Jerusalem.

“Part of it is to figure out how to make incremental change that results in a lasting peace,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said on Monday as reported by the New York Times. “Part of this is really to utilize the trust that has been built up, and not have these negotiations out in public. But I think that they had a very successful visit when the president was over there, and they’re going to continue to build on that.”

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