Netanyahu, Greenblatt meet for five hours on way to move diplomatic process forward

The two reaffirmed commitment to 'sustainable' peace through talks, and improving PA living conditions; settlement construction discussed as formula for building guidelines sought.

Trump's envoy Jason Greenblatt meets Netanyahu (credit: REUTERS)
A five hour meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump's advisor Jason Greenblatt ended Monday evening with a statement pledging commitment to finding a true, sustainable peace agreement and the need to improve living conditions in the Palestinian Authority.
According to a statement put out by the Prime Minister's Office, the two affirmed the joint commitment of the US and Israel to advancing a “true, sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians that will strengthen Israel's security and stability in the region.”
Greenblatt, who arrived earlier on Monday, is scheduled to meet PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday during his first foray into the thick of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy.
According to the statement, Netanyahu said that he believed that under Trump's leadership it will be possible to promote peace between Israel and all its neighbors, including the Palestinians, and that he anticipates working closely with Trump on this issue.
The statement said that Greenblatt reaffirmed Trump’s commitment to Israel's security and to helping the two sides reach peace through direct negotiations. The statement said that the two men discussed the issue of settlement construction “in the hope of coming up with a formula that will lead to the goal of peace and security.”
When Netanyahu met with Trump last month in Washington it was decided to set up a mechanism, led by Greenblatt and ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, to develop agreed upon guidelines between the US and Israel about where construction in the settlements will be permitted. Netanyahu's hope is that if guidelines could be agreed, then an issue that served under the Obama administration as a constant irritant could be removed.
Dermer took part in Monday’s meeting. The PMO statement said that Greenblatt emphasized that Trump was “very interested” in encouraging Palestinian economic growth and improving the living conditions for the Palestinians.
Netanyahu, according to the readout, said he too was completely committed to Palestinian economic prosperity and sees it as a way of improving the prospects of reaching a peace deal.