The Trump administration reiterated its concerns about Israeli settlement activity, the two sides said on Thursday, as a round of talks ended without agreement over limiting future construction on land the Palestinians want for a state.
The four days of high-level meetings in Washington marked the latest step by President Donald Trump’s aides aimed at opening the way to renewed peace diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinians, despite deep skepticism in the United States and Middle East over the chances for success.
Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, who recently returned from a visit to the region, led the U.S. delegation in what were described as “intensive discussions” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff Yoav Horowitz and foreign policy adviser Jonathan Schachter.
Despite setting a more positive tone toward Israel than his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump urged Netanyahu during a White House visit last month to “hold back on settlements for a little bit.” The two then agreed that their aides would seek an accommodation on how much Israel can build and where.
“The United States delegation reiterated President Trump’s concerns regarding settlement activity in the context of moving towards a peace agreement,” according to a joint statement released by the White House.
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