President Trump's Top Middle East Negotiator is Leaving the Administration

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Posted: Sep 05, 2019 12:15 PM

One of President Trump's top negotiators for the Middle East is leaving the administration. 

Citing personal reasons Greenblatt, who has been working on U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian issues in Washington D.C. for the past two years, made the announcement Thursday morning. He will return to his wife and six children in New Jersey.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have worked in the White House for over two and a half years under the leadership of President Trump. I am incredibly grateful to have been part of a team that drafted a vision for peace. This vision has the potential to vastly improve the lives of millions of Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region," Greenblatt released in a statement. "I would like to thank my incredible wife Naomi and my amazing six children for their strength and encouragement. I will thoroughly miss working with my friends and colleagues Jared Kushner, David Friedman and Avi Berkowitz, as well as the many other dedicated individuals within the US government who were instrumental in our efforts.”

Greenblatt's resignation comes just months after the administration held a Middle East business summit in Bahrain, led by Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner, and released a major economic-peace proposal. 

The White House on Saturday outlined a $50 billion Middle East economic plan that would create a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies, and fund a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza.

The ambitious economic revival plan, the product of two years of work by Kushner and other aides, would take place only if a political solution to the region’s long-running problems is reached.

More than half of the $50 billion would be spent in the economically troubled Palestinian territories over 10 years while the rest would be split between Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Some of the projects would be in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, where investments could benefit Palestinians living in adjacent Gaza, a crowded and impoverished coastal enclave.

"Jason has done a tremendous job leading the efforts to develop an economic and political vision for a long sought after peace in the Middle East. His work has helped develop the relationships between Israel and its neighbors as he is trusted and respected by all of the leaders throughout the region. He is a close friend and partner and will continue to make a positive impact on the world," Kushner said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the administration is reportedly working on a political proposal for the region which will be released after Israeli elections in September.