Kushner meets Israeli PM as part of Middle East tour

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and aide Jared Kushner (left) meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and aide Jared Kushner (left) meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JERUSALEM • US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem yesterday as part of a Middle East tour before Washington unveils its long-awaited plan for Israel-Palestinian peace.

Mr Kushner, accompanied by Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt and Mr Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, arrived in Jerusalem after earlier stops in Morocco and Jordan.

He is a key architect of the peace plan the White House says it intends to present in the coming weeks. 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 Mr Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government, and the plan is seen as too sensitive an issue to launch during a political campaign.

Mr Netanyahu, who has formed a close bond with Mr Trump, made reference to Parliament's vote just after midnight to schedule new elections when meeting Mr Kushner.

"Even though we had a little event last night, that's not going to stop us," Mr Netanyahu said after their meeting at his residence.

"We're going to continue working together. We had a great productive meeting which reaffirms the alliance between the US and Israel," he said in a statement.

 
 

Mr Kushner told Mr Netanyahu "we appreciate all of your efforts to strengthen the relationship between our two countries".

"It's never been stronger, and we're very excited about all the potential that lies ahead for Israel, for the relationship and for the whole region," he was quoted as saying.

The US is expected to roll out the economic aspects of the peace plan at a June 25-26 conference in Bahrain.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2019, with the headline 'Kushner meets Israeli PM as part of Middle East tour'. Print Edition | Subscribe