Jared Kushner looks on during the Middle East summit in Warsaw, Poland, February 14, 2019.
(photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and Mideast negotiator Jason Greenblatt are expected to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while in Israel, on the last leg of a regional tour to drum up support for next month’s “economic workshop” in Bahrain.
Greenblatt and Kushner went to Morocco on Tuesday, and Jordan on Wednesday, in an apparent effort to secure those two countries’ backing and participation in the Bahrain meeting. They will be in Israel on Thursday.
So far Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have said they will send representatives to the Bahrain conference scheduled for June 25-26.
Neither Morocco nor Jordan has yet said whether it will join the conference, which is expected to showcase economic benefits that could flow to the Palestinians and the region as a result of Trump’s peace plan. The Bahrain meeting will only deal with the economic aspects of the peace plan, not the political components.
The Palestinian Authority has said it will not attend the meeting, and is urging Arab states to boycott it as well. Russia and China have also announced they will not attend.
The Jordanian Royal Court issued a statement after the delegation meeting with King Abdullah, saying that the meeting “covered the latest regional developments, especially efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
According to the statement, Abdullah “stressed the need to step up all efforts to achieve comprehensive and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution, guaranteeing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security, in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions.”
The statement made no mention of whether Jordan would be joining the conference.
After the meeting, Greenblatt tweeted: “Constructive meeting with @KingAbdullahII in Jordan today including a good conversation about regional dynamics and our administration’s efforts to help Israel and the Palestinians achieve a brighter future.”
JASON GREENBLATT WILL BE AT THE JERUSALEM POST ANNUAL CONFERENCE. REGISTER.
Despite the difficulties, Michael Oren, the former MK and Israel’s former ambassador to the US, who as a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office over the over the past two years has been in contact with the Trump Mideast team, praised Greenblatt for his efforts, saying he has “done an enormous job moving this process along.”
Oren added that Greenblatt is respected by both Israel and the Arab states.
The same, however, is not true in the Palestinian Authority, which views Greenblatt and the entire Trump Mideast team as unabashedly biased toward Israel.
In addition to Kushner and Greenblatt, the delegation also includes the US special envoy on Iran, Brian Hook, and Kushner’s deputy Avi Berkowitz.
The delegation arrived in Morocco on Tuesday and met with Moroccan King Mohammed VI, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
Kushner and Greenblatt joined the king for a traditional iftar meal following the daily Ramadan fast. “Thank you to His Majesty for a special evening and for sharing your wisdom,” Greenblatt tweeted. “Morocco is an important friend and ally of the United States.”
While in Morocco, Kushner and Greenblatt made a detour to Casablanca, where they visited the grave of Rabbi Haim Pinto, a noted 18th-century kabbalist.
The US delegation was greeted by one of Pinto’s descendants, Rabbi David Chananya Pinto, with whom Kushner has reportedly had a relationship for a number of years. The Kushner family has reportedly financially backed Pinto’s Chevrat Pinto study center in Manhattan.