Greenblatt Meets With Netanyahu, But Not Palestinians

YERUSHALAYIM -

As expected, Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special Mideast envoy, has met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials on his current visit, but not with representatives of the Palestinian Authority, who are boycotting the White House in retaliation for the recent declaration on Yerushalayim.

The low-profile visit, described by Greenblatt on Wednesday as “a check-in” to keep the peace process going, did not foretoken any progress in bringing the two sides back to the negotiating table. Rather, it was intended as a gesture that the U.S. stands by its commitment to peacemaking despite the turbulence of recent weeks.

A senior White House official told Haaretz that neither Greenblatt nor Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser, have made contact with the Palestinian leadership since the president’s speech.

The official expressed the administration’s hope, however, that the Palestinians will resume talks with Kushner and Greenblatt in the near future. “We believe that when the time is right, relevant parties will recognize that our plan will be in the best interests of the Israelis and the Palestinians,” the official said.

During this visit, Greenblatt also met with Major General Yoav (Poli) Mordechai, the senior liason to the Palestinians as Coordinator of Government Actions in the Territories (COGAT). Greenblatt also saw the European Union’s special envoy to the peace process, Fernando Gentilini.

While Greenblatt tweeted about the meetings having taken place, he had no substantial news to report.

U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman accompanied him.

The Prime Minister’s Office had no further information to give out on the meetings.