US envoy Friedman, trusted by Trump, joins Mideast peace team

President Donald Trump has asked his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, to join a growing task force on Middle East peace, breaking from protocol that has traditionally removed the US envoy from talks with the Palestinian Authority.


Trump made the move because he trusts Friedman to represent him – a critical factor in all of the president’s decision-making, a White House official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. But a Palestinian official on Monday said the PA does not want to host Friedman in Ramallah, reflecting the delicate politics that greet Friedman in his new role and the president at the start of his foray into Mideast peacemaking.


“The administration believes that in order to give everyone the best chance to reach an ultimate deal, it is critical to have negotiators who are close with the president,” the White House official said.


The US team working on Middle East peace is now led by three men who have surrounded the president for years: Friedman, his former lawyer; Jason Greenblatt, formerly executive vice president and chief legal officer at the Trump Organization now serving as the president’s lead negotiator; and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law.

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