Trump to hold Temple Mount crisis discussions with envoy to Israel
YURI GRIPAS (AFP/Archives)
US President Donald Trump is expected on Monday to meet with his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, to discuss the simmering Temple Mount crisis, Israeli daily Haaretz reports.
An official from the White House told Haaretz that "As part of a long-planned trip, Ambassador David Friedman is in D.C. this week. In addition to a variety of meetings, he will be meeting with the president, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt tomorrow to discuss the events that transpired in the region over the past two weeks where tensions have recently lowered."
The meeting will take place at 11:30am local time, after Trump has met with his new chief-of-staff, John Kelly.
Friedman, along with presidential adviser Jared Kushner and Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, engaged in extensive discussions with officials in the region and across the Arab world to try to bring an end to the violence that began with the killing of two Israeli police officers at the Temple Mount holy site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.
On Friday, Jordan's King Abdullah II spoke by phone with Trump and thanked him for the role his administration played in the de-escalation.
A statement from the Royal Hashemite Court said that during the phone call the two leaders discussed developments in the wake of the violence after Israel installed security measures after the July 14 attack on the Israeli police officers. The placing of metal detectors and extra security sites at the entrance to the compound led to violent protests in Israel, the West Bank and across the Arab world and in London.
The increased security measures at the flashpoint holy site were removed after an Israeli security cabinet decision.
The statement said that the King emphasized the importance of deepening US-Jordan ties "to avoid the recurrence of such crises."
The call was the first reported engagement by Trump with regards to the crisis. Trump did not speak personally with either Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the matter.
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