Oct 25, 2018

Scoop: Trump's Middle East peace envoy to travel to Israel next week

Greenblatt in Ramallah last year. Photo: Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Jason Greenblatt, President Trump's special envoy for Middle East peace, will travel to Israel to continue talks with Israeli officials on the White House's upcoming peace plan, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

The big picture: Trump said in September he wants to release his peace plan for the Middle East within the next two to four months. The White House's "peace team," led by Jared Kushner, is in the pre-launch phase of the peace plan. The team is spending a lot of time reaching out to different groups in the U.S. and abroad that are relevant to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Israeli officials said Greenblatt will stay in Israel for almost a week and meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials and politicians. Greenblatt's talks in Israel are expected to deal with not only the upcoming peace plan but also with the situation in Gaza and the ongoing Egyptian- and UN-led efforts to reach a stabilization deal between Israel and Hamas.

  • At this stage, it is highly unlikely that Greenblatt will meet with Palestinian officials due to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' move to cut off relations with the White House after Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

A White House official told me: "I can confirm that Special Representative Jason Greenblatt will be traveling to Israel this coming week. This trip reflects the Administration’s commitment to productive engagement [on the peace process], as well as the value it places on understanding the situation on the ground, especially amid recent tensions."

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