Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Jared Kushner heading to the Middle East for talks

Donald Trump's son-in-law wants to continue momentum of plan for Palestinian-Israeli peace

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks about immigration during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, US, July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks about immigration during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, US, July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Jared Kushner will return to the Middle East this month to push his controversial plan for peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, a senior White House official said on Sunday.

"Kushner will travel to the region at the end of July for discussions to continue the momentum of the successful Bahrain workshop on the economic plan," the official said.

The official did not give details on an itinerary, but on previous trips he has visited Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel.

Mr Kushner will be accompanied by White House adviser Jason Greenblatt and US envoy for Iran Brian Hook, the official said.

The trip will come about a month after Mr Kushner convened an economic workshop in Bahrain, which could mean $50 billion (Dh183.65bn) in investments under a peace deal.

But the Palestinian Authority boycotted the Peace to Prosperity summit, accusing the pro-Israel US President Donald Trump of using the money to try to impose political solutions and ignoring the Israeli occupation.

Mr Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital and Mr Kushner, a family friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has suggested that his plan would not mention a Palestinian state.

The visit comes amid heightened tension between Tehran and Washington, after the US withdrew last year from a deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear programme and has imposed punishing sanctions on the country.

The US said it shot down an Iranian drone on July 18 and has accused Tehran of attacks on tanker ships, while Iran brought down an American drone last month.

Updated: July 22, 2019 09:08 AM

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