Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is meeting this afternoon with US President Donald Trump’s Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, along with an American delegation including US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu expressed optimism to Kushner.
“We have a lot of things to talk about. How to advance peace, stability and security in our region - prosperity too - and I think all of them are within our reach,” he said.
“So I am happy to see you and the effort you’re leading on behalf of the [US] President [Donald Trump] with Jason [Greenblatt] and other members of your team,” he continued. “I think this is a sign of the great alliance between us and the great goals that guide us.”
Kushner, for his part, told Netanyahu that Trump was “very committed to achieving a solution that will be able to bring prosperity and peace to all people in this area," and thanked Netanyahu and his team for "engaging thoughtfully and respectfully in the way that the President has asked him to do."
Following the meeting, the American delegation is set to depart for Ramallah, where it is to meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The PA has expressed pessimism in recent days about the chances of a breakthrough in negotiations.
Ahmed Majdalani, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which Abbas heads, told AFP on Wednesday they were demanding "a clear and frank answer on the position of the administration on the two-state solution and settlements."
"Without a clear American commitment to the two-state solution and stopping settlements and ending the occupation, we don't expect much from this administration," he added.
Earlier this week, Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said Palestinian Arabs are still waiting for a "clear vision" from the United States on resuming peace talks with Israel.
Abbas "wants clarity" on the two-state solution, he said.
Abbas himself recently told a group of Meretz representatives visiting Ramallah, “I don’t even know how they are dealing with us, because his entire administration is in chaos.”
The PA insists that any peace agreement with Israel be based on the formation of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.