February 21, 2019

Kushner to visit Middle East on peace plan's economic part

10 February 2019, 01:37 | Devin Moran

Kushner to visit Middle East to garner backing for peace plan

White House officials set to rally support for Middle East peace plan

Earlier in the day, Palestinians blasted a US-led conference on the Middle-East set to take place in Warsaw, Poland, next week.

Palestinian officials have been invited to a USA conference on the Middle East hosted by Poland next week where White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will discuss plans for peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, a senior US official said on Friday. The visit will be Kushner's first to the region since the United States announced it will delay the presentation of the peace plan until the end of the Israeli election.

According to Haaretz, Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, the White House's top Middle East negotiator, will visit several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, to discuss economic issues related to the Palestinians within a "regional context".

The tour aims to build goodwill and support for a plan that has been widely discredited by the Palestinians, and is seen with skepticism by the worldwide community.

While this trip will not focus on the political components of the peace plan, officials said Arab leaders will be hesitant to accept the economic aspects if they don't know the political aspects.

Kushner and Greenblatt will be accompanied Director of Policy Planning and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Brian Hook, and Kushner's 28-year-old protégé Avi Berkowitz.

"Jared is going to share elements of the economic plan to the region".

"As noted we have asked the Palestinian Authority to send representatives to this event", the official said.

A foreign ministry statement called the event "an American conspiracy meant to get the participants to adopt the USA views on issues of the region, particularly the Palestine question".

"The great stumbling block still ahead in the face of any emergent peace plan is the fact that the Palestinian leadership continues to boycott any Trump administration officials because of Trump's illegal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel", Hanna said. Palestinians want the city's eastern part as their future capital.

Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna, reporting from Washington, DC, said the Trump administration is likely to run into a few hurdles when having to deal with Palestinians after it unilaterally made a decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.

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