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White House’s Kushner in Jerusalem for Israeli talks

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 16, 2019 White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner arrives to hear the US president speak on immigration proposals in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. – US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and assistant Jared Kushner has departed on a trip to Morocco, Jordan and Israel, the White House said on May 28, 2019, signalling a fresh round of talks on a proposed US Mideast peace plan. Kushner is accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative to international negotiations, and Brian Hook, the special US representative for Iran, the White House said. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and aide Jared Kushner was in Jerusalem on Thursday as part of a Middle East trip focused on the White House’s expected plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Kushner was expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but no details were released of his schedule.

A US embassy spokeswoman confirmed he had arrived following earlier stops in Morocco and Jordan.

Kushner, accompanied by Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt and Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, is a key architect of the peace plan the White House is expected to unveil.

But the plan, previously delayed for an Israeli general election on April 9, could face further postponements due to Israeli politics.

Israel is set to hold another general election in September after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government, and the plan is widely seen as too sensitive an issue to introduce during a political campaign.

The Palestinian leadership has also already rejected the plan, saying that Trump’s moves have shown him to be blatantly biased in favour of Israel.

Those moves include declaring the disputed city of Jerusalem Israel’s capital and cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in Palestinian aid.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II insisted during Kushner’s visit Wednesday on the “need to intensify efforts to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace based on the two-state solution, that would guarantee the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

The United States is expected to roll out the economic aspects of the peace plan at a conference in Bahrain on June 25-26, but Palestinian leaders say they will not attend.


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