Kushner Meets with Arab Leaders as Possible Lead-Up to Peace Conference
President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is off on a Middle East tour possibly ahead of an Arab states conference at Camp David.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reiterated his country’s support for a Palestinian-Israeli peace that honors international legitimacy resolutions, with occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Sisi’s remarks came during a meeting in Cairo on Thursday with Middle East peace envoy of U.S. President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner.
Kushner, the son-in-law of Trump, is visiting the Middle East region to garner support for Trump’s plan for peace between Palestinians and Israelis, known commonly as the “Deal of the Century.”
Earlier this week, the U.S. peace envoy visited Jordan’s King Abdallah II who in turn echoed the same stance by Sisi of Egypt. The Jordanian monarch told Kushner that Jordan can only accept a two-state solution, which he sees as the most viable solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
However, the current Trump administration seems opposed to a two-state solution, as the administration controversially recognized occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the American embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Such a move had not seen support from previous U.S. administrations since 1996 when the United States’ Congress endorsed the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
As part of Kushner’s Middle East tour, he will meet with other Arab leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatari and others. The current tour is seen as a follow-up, following the Kushner-led economic workshop in the Arab Gulf state of Bahrain in late June.
The workshop was attended by several bodies including government officials and business heads from various countries. It addressed possibilities for creating economic prosperity in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Palestinian Authority (P.A.) rejected and boycotted the economic workshop, saying that any economic prosperity should come as a result of a just and durable political solution.
The local Palestinian Maan News Agency reported that the U.S. president is laying the groundwork for a peace conference to be held sometime in the near future in Camp David, outside of Washington D.C. in Maryland.
The conference would likely invite key Arab countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia to find a peaceful solution for the region, presumably in line with Trump’s own vision for a solution. However, Maan reported that Israel was unlikely to be invited to a Camp David meeting as it could prevent the attendance of some Arab nations.
Maan also suggested that Trump would say okay to the creation of a Palestinian entity and existence of Palestinians in the Jerusalem area, without saying okay to a Palestinian state.
The Palestinian Authority has largely opposed Trump’s plans for an Israeli-Palestinian solution. Formal ties between the two sides have been severed since December of 2018, when Trump recognized occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Several months later, Washington cut off financial assistance to the P.A. and refrained from funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, known as UNRWA.