Jordan’s king discusses peace process with senior Trump officials
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Jordan’s king discusses peace process with senior Trump officials

During ‘private’ visit to Washington, Abdullah meets with Kushner, Tillerson and others; also discusses fight against terror, situation in Middle East

File: Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks during a press conference with US President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden at the White House on April 5, 2017. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)
File: Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks during a press conference with US President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden at the White House on April 5, 2017. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Saturday discussed efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process during meetings with senior Trump administration officials in Washington.

During his trip to the US capital, which was described as a private visit, Abdullah met with US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is handling the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Jordan’s official Petra news agency reported.

According to Petra, the talks focused on “attempts to breathe new life” into the peace process.

In addition to discussing how to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Abdullah also spoke about the fight against terror in the Middle East and the ongoing fighting in Iraq and Syria, according to Petra.

Abdullah’s latest trip to Washington was his third since Trump’s inauguration in January, which included a meeting at the White House in April.

US President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office at the White House as First Lady Melania Trump and Queen Rania look on. April 5, 2017. (AFP/Nicholas Kamm)
US President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office at the White House as First Lady Melania Trump and Queen Rania look on. April 5, 2017. (AFP/Nicholas Kamm)

The Jordanian king has emerged as key backer of Trump’s push to rejuvenate the peace process, with the US president praising him as “a really tireless advocate for a solution.”

Abdullah, who also played an active role in talks during the last administration, has offered praise for the US president’s efforts to jumpstart talks, saying that Trump’s “early engagement” on trying to revitalize the peace process “has been a very encouraging sign for all of us.”

Despite the optimism and American prodding, the US has been unable to find an agreed upon framework to encourage the sides to return to the negotiating table for the first time in three years.

Last month, the State Department denied an unconfirmed report that Trump was ready to pull the plug on efforts to revive peace talks, which came on the heels of a reportedly tense meeting between Kushner and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah over the issue of PA payments to the families of terrorists.

A meeting between Trump and Abbas in Bethlehem in May was also reportedly tense, with the US leader angrily berating his counterpart over allegations of incitement.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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