Mideast peace

White House briefs senators on Middle East peace push

Jared Kushner. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt — President Trump's "peace team" — went today to Capitol Hill and briefed a bipartisan group of senators on the administration's Middle East peace efforts. 

Why it matters: This is the first such briefing to senators, and is part of the pre-launch phase of the White House peace plan. Kushner and Greenblatt have met recently with Jewish groups, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Arab officials (though not Palestinians). The briefing didn't include details, a source with knowledge tells me, only an overview on where things stand. Trump said last week that he wants to present his peace plan within 2-4 months, and he said for the first time that he supports a two-state solution. 

Palestinian president says Trump must change course to mediate deal

Palestinians gather to watch Abbas address the UN. Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today called on President Trump to rescind his decisions on Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees in order to be able to act again as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians during his speech today at the UN General Assembly.

Why it matters: The White House was closely following Abbas's speech and wanted to see if Trump's overture about the two state solution would be answered by Abbas. Abbas didn't answer it directly, but Palestinian officials say he had prepared several versions of the speech and, after Trump's press conference, decided to use the most moderate one, which didn't contain personal attacks against Trump.