The Latest: Kushner meets with Netanyahu and Abbas

AP News
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Posted: Jun 21, 2017 2:43 PM
The Latest: Kushner meets with Netanyahu and Abbas

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on Jared Kushner's visit to Israel and West Bank (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, has met separately with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders as part of his first solo visit to the region.

The visit is part of an effort to restart negotiations for the first time in three years.

Kushner met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for about 3 ½ hours in Jerusalem before heading to the West Bank city of Ramallah for a late-night meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu's office released a short video showing Kushner, along with envoy Jason Greenblatt and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, arriving at the Israeli premier's office in Jerusalem. Netanyahu warmly greeted Kushner with a smile and hug, and told him, "This is an opportunity to pursue our common goals of security, prosperity and peace."

Reporters were barred from covering the meetings and did not have an opportunity to ask Kushner questions.

Trump has tasked Kushner with the ambitious goal of laying the groundwork for what he calls the "ultimate deal."

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2 p.m.

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, has arrived for a daylong visit aimed at restarting long-dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Kushner touched down Tuesday for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Trump has tasked Kushner with the ambitious goal of laying the groundwork for what he calls the "ultimate deal." Deep divisions between the sides remain, clouding the chances of significant breakthroughs.

This month marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Mideast war — a seminal event in which Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. The Palestinians claim these areas for a future independent state.

After two decades of failed U.S.-led peace efforts, Palestinian statehood seems distant. Envoy Jason Greenblatt has already made several visits.