Jared Kushner heading to the Middle East for talks


Jared Kushner will return to the Middle East later this month as he pushes his controversial plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, a senior official in President Donald Trump's administration 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 on condition of anonymity. The official did not give details on an itinerary for Kushner, who is Trump's son-in-law, but on previous trips he has visited Israel as well as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

He will be accompanied by White House advisor Jason Greenblatt and US envoy for Iran Brian Hook, the official said. The trip will come around a month after Kushner convened an economic workshop in Bahrain that dangled the prospect of $50 billion in investment under a peace deal.

But the Palestinian Authority boycotted the "Peace to Prosperity" workshop, accusing the unabashedly pro-Israel Trump of using the prospect of cash to try to impose political solutions, and of ignoring the fundamental issue of Israeli occupation.

Trump took the landmark step of recognising bitterly disputed Jerusalem as Israel's capital and Kushner, a family friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has suggested that his plan would not mention a Palestinian state, a long-time goal of US diplomacy. (AFP)

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