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Middle East

Trump advisor Kushner quietly leads US delegation to Middle East

By Associated Press 23/8/2017
White House advisor Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump. Photo: AP
White House advisor Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump. Photo: AP
WASHINGTON - White House adviser Jared Kushner is leading a delegation to the Middle East on behalf of President Donald Trump to discuss the possibility of resuming the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

A White House official said Kushner, the president's son-in-law, left Sunday along with Jason Greenblatt, envoy for international negotiations, and Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser.

They were in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday and expected to be in Israel on Wednesday, the official said. They were planning to meet separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday.

The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the private meetings and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The three were expected to meet leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt during their trip.

Kushner, Greenblatt and Powell have been heavily involved in a behind-the-scenes process to help Trump broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, which the first-year president has called the "ultimate deal."

The talks this week are aimed at helping forge a path to substantive peace negotiations, but no major breakthroughs are expected.

Trump has not outright endorsed the two-state solution, which has been at the heart of U.S. policy for nearly two decades.

The president has urged Israel to show restraint in settlement construction but not demanded a freeze, disappointing the Palestinians. Trump also pushed back a decision on his campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel has welcomed the promise, while the Palestinians have strongly opposed it.

In Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Kushner and other U.S. officials met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a report on the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Their talks included "realizing a genuine and lasting peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis and to bring about security, stability and Middle Eastern prosperity," as well as cutting off support for extremists, the report said.

The trip to Saudi Arabia comes as no surprise as the kingdom hosted the first overseas trip of Trump's presidency. Saudi Arabia is now engulfed in a diplomatic dispute with Qatar, another U.S. ally nation in the Gulf that hosts a major American military base.

Comments

 
Jaroosh | 23/8/2017
It's a family business, unlike what he said, Trump is running the US as a family business, his son in law is the second highest ranking in the white house after the president, and he is only a kid.
Trump | 23/8/2017
What does he knows He was never involved in politics. And what does he knows about the problems between Palestinian and Israel. He only got his position because of his father-in-law. The problems are intractable. There is no solution until they annihilate one another. Unless both give way. As far as I can see both are intransigent. The problem will go on for eternity.
Kurdo | 23/8/2017
You both are stupid, these presidents do not rule the US. The last one that tried to rule US was killed and it was JFK. Back when middleeast was becoming socialist these people stopped it and turned it to a islamist shithole. You know who it is. Screw them an Islam, they are the same.
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