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Abbas Presses for Two-State Solution, Kushner Provides No Clarity

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner (L) meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on August 24, 2017.

Kushner, who is also US President Donald Trump's son-in-law, is quoted explaining to the PA leader that a settlement freeze could lead to a breakdown of the Netanyahu-led government.

US officials have said that they have not ruled out a two-state solution but that it is up to the two sides, not them, to agree on a way forward.

"This is nonsense. This comment was never made", the senior official told Haaretz.

According to Al-Hayat, the delegation led by Kushner expressed openness to the two-state solution while refusing to divide the borders of these countries within the 1967 borders, a determination which the delegation said should be left to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

"But given the very poor prospects of a significant political breakthrough, I'd be surprised it if warrants a major investment by the president". Most significantly for the Palestinians was the failure to obtain economic freedom to develop what is termed "Area C" in the 1993 Oslo Accords - the section of the West Bank under both Israeli administrative and security control - and a commitment from the American interlocutors to establish dates and milestones for the negotiating process it oversees.

However, Abbas stressed that negotiations should be based on the framework of a two-state solution and for illegal settlements to cease.

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Signalling their frustration, some Palestinian leaders have spoken of taking a harder line in recent days.

According to the Israel Hayom report, Kushner promised Abbas that in their scheduled meeting at the United Nations in September, Trump would give a guarantee to his Palestinian counterpart that a peace plan would be put to both sides within four months.

Al-Quds said while the delegation was open to the idea of a two-state solution, White House adviser Jared Kushner told the Palestinians that stopping construction of Israeli settlements is not possible.

Kushner and Greenblatt traveled to the Middle East previously this summer to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

But at the same time, Majdalani said they could also unilaterally declare Palestinian statehood.

Shapiro, now a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies think-tank in Tel Aviv, said the focus should instead be on short-term goals such as improving the Palestinian economy in order to keep the possibility of a two-state solution alive.



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