Jared Kushner to visit Middle East

Greenblatt will arrive in the region on Monday and Kushner on Wednesday.

A White House official said that Kushner will hear directly from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

The Kushner trip was first reported in the Wall Street Journal. Kushner's meetings with Russian officials and business executives have come under scrutiny as the investigation has probed links between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

In April, Kushner traveled to Iraq aboard a military aircraft, as part of his broad portfolio of foreign affairs in the Trump presidency.

The meeting was followed by a brief press conference after which Trump left Bethlehem to visit the Israel Museum and Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. He also pointed out that it was unclear whether Kushner has ever visited a Palestinian area.

A senior Israeli official said Thursday that contrary to media reports, the Palestinians have not officially relinquished their demand for a complete moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank prior to the resumption of the peace process.

At an event for donors and Republican supporters the night before the inauguration, Trump addressed Kushner in his remarks and said, "If you can't produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can".

Kushner will join Trump's special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, as the current administration looks to draft an American statement of principles for negotiating the peace talks between the longstanding adversaries. The two are expected to work to advance direct talks between the parties.

President Trump desperately needs a win somewhere these days, as several news reports have suggested Special Counsel and Former FBI Director Mueller plans to interview key national security officials about Trump's attempts an end the investigation of his original national security adviser, Michael Flynn, over contacts he allegedly had with Russia's ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak. Abbas, on the other hand, has previously expressed his commendation of the USA president's determination to reach a peace deal which the previous administrations have failed to achieve.

The visit comes a month after Trump's maiden trip to the region, during which he met with Israeli and Palestinian officials and committed to working to bring both sides together in a lasting peace agreement.