Kushner meets Egypt's Sisi for Middle East peace plan talks


U.S. President Donald Trump's advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner met on Thursday with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo to discuss Washington's plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Both sides discussed "ways to consolidate peace and stability in the region in light of the instability it suffers from," the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

"Kushner recounted the contacts the U.S. delegation had made with various parties to set the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis back on track," it added.

The U.S. envoy is on a regional tour which has already taken him to Jordan and Israel to discuss the controversial peace plan, already rejected by the Palestinians. Kushner was accompanied by Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt to Cairo, a day after separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah II.

The economic aspects of Kushner's initiative were unveiled at a Bahrain meeting in June, floating the prospect of $50 billion worth of investment into a stagnant Palestinian economy. But the "opportunity of the century", as Kushner dubs it, has so far failed to address key Palestinian demands such as the establishment of their own independent state.

Sisi's office stressed Egypt's commitment to a "two-state solution and the building of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital".

Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab nations to have diplomatic relations with Israel and both sent mid-level officials to the Bahrain meeting. Sisi met with the Jordanian king in Cairo on Monday, when they reaffirmed that any peace deal should be based on a two-state solution.

Kushner's plan has been flatly rejected by Palestinian officials, who argue the Trump administration is biased in favour of Israel.

The U.S. president broke with decades of international consensus by recognising the contested city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Palestinians and shut their de facto embassy in Washington.    (AFP)

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