US President Donald Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed ways to reach the so-called ‘peace’ with the Palestinians as well as settlement construction, a statement said Tuesday.
The five-hour meeting, held in Netanyahu’s al-Quds (Jerusalem) office late Monday, came as Trump’s administration begins to enter the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The two “reaffirmed the joint commitment of both Israel and the United States to advance a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians that strengthens the security of Israel and enhances stability in the region,” a joint statement from the premier’s office and US embassy said.
They also “continued discussions relating to settlement construction in the hope of working out an approach that is consistent with the goal of advancing peace and security.”
The international community considers continuing settlement growth in the West Bank a major obstacle to peace.
According to the statement, Greenblatt “reaffirmed President Trump’s commitment to Israel’s security and to the effort to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve a lasting peace through direct negotiations.”
Greenblatt was due to meet Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.
The statement cited Netanyahu as telling Greenblatt he believed “it is possible to advance peace” while Trump is in the White House.
Greenblatt himself wrote on Twitter that he had a “very positive and productive meeting” with Netanyahu during which they discussed the “regional situation, how progress towards peace with Palestinians can be made & settlements.”