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Kushner Talks Peace in Jerusalem and Ramallah

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Wednesday to try to revive long-fractured Middle East peacemaking. Trump has said that wants to make “the ultimate deal”, referring to an elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, but Washington now says it will take some time. Kushner, who was in the region for just 20 hours, met with both Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for several hours. Kushner was accompanied by US Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador David Friedman. “The three United States officials discussed Israel’s priorities and potential next steps with Prime Minister Netanyahu, acknowledging the critical role Israel plays in the security of the region,” the White House said in a statement. It added that the Israeli and American officials “underscored that forging peace will take time and the importance of doing everything possible to create an environment conducive to peacemaking.” Palestinian officials welcomed a US State Department statement that described Jewish settlements in the West Bank as “something that does not help the peace process.” There were rumors several weeks ago of a possible summit between Netanyahu and Abbas that would be hosted by President Trump in Washington, but the US has apparently backed away from this idea. It also has no plans to issue its own road map for peace.