The White House team behind U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday.
In brief joint remarks, Kushner touted American-Israeli cooperation, saying, "it's never been stronger." They made no public comment about any timeframe for release of Trump's long-promised but yet-to-be-delivered peace plan.
"Even though we had a little event last night," Netanyahu said, referring to the Knesset vote to dissolve and call a snap election less than two months after the last. "That's not going to stop us - we're going to keep working together," he said.
Kushner was accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, and Brian Hook, the special US representative for Iran.
The group is in the Middle East to drum up support for what Kushner styles as an economic workshop in Bahrain next month to encourage investment in the West Bank and Gaza.
The trip — which included stops in Amman and Rabat — comes amid a flurry of other administration moves to shore up alliances with Arab allies against Iran and the deployment of warships and bombers to the region.
The Trump administration is expected to unveil the peace plan — described by Trump as "the deal of the century" — possibly as early as next month, but the Palestinians have already spurned it as heavily biased in favor of Israel and as a blow to their statehood hopes.
Washington has yet to commit to an exact timetable with respect to the political aspects of the plan.
"Now it is the deal of the next century," Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told Israel Radio.
Kushner is the chief architect of the proposals and Greenblatt, a longtime Trump lawyer, has served as his right-hand man on the Middle East initiative.
Upon his arrival in the White House more than two years ago, Trump proclaimed his ambition to secure a final accord ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But the odds of his succeeding where every previous US president — Republican and Democrat — have failed appear particularly low. The decision to hold fresh elections in Israel, less than two months after the last national vote, could also prove a barrier to advancing peace.
Kushner met Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Tuesday in Rabat.
The meeting focused on developments in the Middle East and North Africa as well as strengthening the partnership between Morocco and the US, a palace spokesman told AFP.
Greenblatt tweeted that he and Kushner shared an iftar dinner — the traditional meal to break the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan — with Morocco’s king, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
“Thank you to His Majesty for a special evening and for sharing your wisdom,” Greenblatt wrote. “Morocco is an important friend & ally of the United States.”