Netanyahu Reassures Trump Team That New Elections Won’t Hamper Alliance

YERUSHALAYIM -
(L-R) Brian Hook, U.S. special envoy for Iran, Trump adviser Jared Kushner, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, U.S. Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt and Israel’s U.S. ambasador Ron Dermer, at a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Yerushalayim on Thursday. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner met Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Yerushalayim on Thursday as part of a Middle East tour before Washington unveils its plan for Middle East peace.

Kushner, accompanied by Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt and Brian Hook, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, arrived in Israel after earlier stops in Morocco and Jordan. Kushner is a key architect of the peace plan the White House says it intends to present in the coming weeks. Also attending the meeting was Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer.

Netanyahu welcomed the group: “It’s always a great pleasure to welcome Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to Israel, to Jerusalem, and to discuss our common efforts for prosperity, security and peace. I’m tremendously encouraged by how the United States, under President Trump, is working to bring allies together in this region against common challenges, but also to seize common opportunities.

“And, you know, we had a little event last night. That’s not going to stop us. We’re going to continue working together. We had a great, productive meeting, which reaffirms that the alliance between the United States of America has never been stronger, and it’s going to get even stronger.”

Jared Kushner replied, thanking Netanyahu for his gracious hospitality. “I send greetings from President Trump for you and for all people of Israel. This is my first time in Israel since the president recognized the Golan Heights, which was a very important announcement. The security of Israel is something that’s critical to the relations between America and Israel, and also very important to the president, and we appreciate all your efforts to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. It’s never been stronger, and we’re very excited about all the potential that lies ahead for Israel, for the relationship, and for the future.”

At the White House, President Donald Trump voiced regret at the political turmoil in Israel and praised Netanyahu, with whom he has been in lockstep in tough policy towards the Palestinians and Iran.

“It’s too bad what happened in Israel. It looked like a total win for Netanyahu – who’s a great guy. He’s a great guy. And now they’re back in the debate stage and they’re back in the election stage,” Trump told reporters Thursday morning.