Trump's Envoy to Arab Top Diplomats: Israeli-Palestinian Peace Would Benefit Mideast and Entire World

Trump believes peace deal is possible, Greenblatt tells Arab foreign ministers on sidelines of Arab League summit

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (R) speaks with Jason Greenblatt during the Arab League summit in the Jordanian Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh on March 29, 2017.
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (R) speaks with Jason Greenblatt during the Arab League summit in the Jordanian Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh on March 29, 2017. KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP

Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's envoy on the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, told Arab foreign ministers on the sidelines of the Arab League summit in Jordan that Trump is determined to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

A peace agreement would have a positive influence on the entire Middle East and the entire world, Greenblatt told the top Arab diplomats, an official statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Amman Wednesday said.

UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
AP

"In his meetings, Mr. Greenblatt focused on how tangible progress could be made toward advancing Middle East peace, including a comprehensive agreement between Israelis and Palestinians," the statement said. "He reaffirmed Trump's personal interest in achieving a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians and his belief that such a peace agreement is not only possible, but would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world."

The statement further said that Greenblatt stressed in his talks with the foreign ministers that the Arab nations in the region could play an important role in the peace process. Greenblatt told the ministers that they should refrain from unhelpful public rhetoric, which would only make attempts to promote the peace process more difficult. The American envoy also said that he did not come to the region to impose ideas or peace plans on the sides. "He reiterated that peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties," said the embassy statement.

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Greenblatt's participation at the Arab summit is considered highly unusual, and serves as further evidence of the importance Trump sees in the Israeli-Palestinian issue. In its statement, the U.S. embassy in Jordan said that Greenblatt was only a spectator at the summit and hasn't endorsed any of the speeches or resolutions made at the event.

On Monday in Amman, Greenblatt met with Abbas, in what was their second meeting since Greenblatt took office two months ago. Abbas is expected to meet with Trump in the White House for the first time in two weeks’ time.

Greenblatt also met in Amman with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, where they discussed the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi is scheduled to meet with Trump next week for the first time. A major topic on the agenda is expected to be a proposed regional peace initiative, in which Egypt would play a key role.

The president’s envoy to the peace process also met with Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit and with the foreign ministers of Algeria, Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. The Israeli-Palestinian issue was addressed in all of these meetings. In addition, Greenblatt met with Federica Mogherini, the European Commission’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.

After meeting with Mogherini, Greenblatt posted to his Twitter account a photograph of the two of them and wrote: “Productive mtg w/ @FedericaMog of @eu_eeas on how EU & US can advance Israel/Pal peace. It’s a priority for both of us.”