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Abbas meets with Kushner, US envoy to discuss reviving peace process

June 22, 2017 8:48 P.M. (Updated: June 24, 2017 12:05 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday evening to discuss reviving peace talks with Israel.

Kushner, a real estate developer with little experience in international or Middle Eastern diplomacy, arrived in Ramallah following meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior American and Israeli officials earlier the day in Jerusalem.

Executive Committee Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Wasel Abu Yousif said in statement that Kushner did not offer a specific plan “to open a political path,” but that Kushner and US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt -- who was also present at the meeting -- said “they wanted to listen to both sides’ point of views on the situation.”

Abu Yousif added that reviving a political process requires three main determinants based on the international law: a time limit for ending the 50-year Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory must be set to establish a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and Palestinian refugees must be granted the right of return to the homes and villages from which they were expelled.

According to Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency, Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said Abbas’s meeting with Kushner and Greenblatt discussed all “final status issues,” including the issues of the refugees and prisoners. Abbas also confirmed his commitment to the two-state solution on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative.

Israeli news website Ynet cited Palestinian officials as saying that, ahead of the meeting, they had been asked to draw up a list of 12 "bullet point" demands they would want met in any negotiations.

While the PA and the international community do not recognize the legality of the occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank since 1967, many Palestinians consider that all historic Palestine has been occupied since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

A growing number of activists have criticized a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace given the existing political context, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.

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