Mideast Daily News

Maintaining Momentum after Trump Aid’s Visit: Netanyahu’s Team to Washington

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

March 20, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint news conference at the East Room of the White House February 15, 2017. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In an apparent indication that neither the Trump Team nor the Israeli administration has an interest in losing the momentum begun last week when negotiations envoy Jason Greenblatt visited the Israelis and Palestinians in a first step toward breaking the deadlocked peace negotiations, two senior aides to Prime Minister Netanyahu are headed to Washington to join Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer in further rounds of talks. Underscoring the importance of the gesture and adding to the speculation that last week’s talks were productive, the two aides were taken off Netanyahu’s flight to China where the PM is headed for a state visit. During the Jerusalem talks the focus was on creating a formula for building in Israeli communities located on post-1967 lands that is consistent with White House policy more than being relative to the Palestinian positions and demands. That is expected to be the thrust of the continuing meetings in Washington so that the new administration is spared surprises and embarrassment; and the Israelis will not find themselves again in a situation at odds with the White House.

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