Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt steps down

Middle East USA World

Greenblatt will hand over much of his Middle East responsibilities to Kushner aide Avi Berkowitz. Brian Hook, the leader of the state department’s Iran team, will take on an increased role, a senior administration official said.

Greenblatt, a former lawyer for Trump, said he was grateful to have been part of the team to draft “a vision for peace”.

“This vision has the potential to vastly improve the lives of millions of Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region,” he said in a statement.

Greenblatt has been a player in all of Trump’s moves aimed at bolstering support for Israel, such as the US recognition of both Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The developing peace plan, which Greenblatt and others have kept secret, is viewed skeptically among many in the Arab world because of expectations it will be a pro-Israel vision. The US team says the plan will require concessions from the Israelis.

Kushner said Greenblatt “has done a tremendous job leading the efforts to develop an economic and political vision for a long sought after peace in the Middle East”.

“His work has helped develop the relationships between Israel and its neighbours as he is trusted and respected by all of the leaders throughout the region. He is a close friend and partner and will continue to make a positive impact on the world,” he said.

Reuters

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