President Donald Trump's son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, made his first solo visit Wednesday to the region, holding separate meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in an attempt to restart long-dormant peace talks. Kushner, whose family has a long relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met with the Israeli leader in Jerusalem for about 3 ½ hours before heading to the West Bank city of Ramallah for a late-night meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
"The meeting was productive and the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to advancing President Trump's goal of a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians that enhances stability in the region," the White House said in a statement.
Kushner, special envoy Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador David Friedman discussed potential next steps, stressing that the process will take time and require "doing everything possible to create an environment conducive to peacemaking."
Just before Kushner's trip, Israel began construction on a new settlement in the West Bank, the first new outpost there in 25 years.