White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner arrives for his appearance before a closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. July 24, 2017..
(photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, recently traveled to Saudi Arabia unannounced on a commercial jet to discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace with kingdom leadership.
Kushner’s trip, first reported Sunday afternoon by Politico, was confirmed by the White House in a statement.
“The senior adviser to the president, the deputy national security adviser for strategy [Dina Powell] and the special representative for international negotiations [Jason Greenblatt] recently returned from Saudi Arabia,” a senior White House official told The Jerusalem Post. “The senior adviser has also been in frequent contact with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.”
Greenblatt’s visit to the region – which included stops in Cairo, Amman, Jerusalem and Ramallah – had been shared publicly, unlike Kushner’s travel, which was kept under wraps until he arrived back in Washington.
“While these regional talks will play an important role, the president reaffirms that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties and that the United States will continue working closely with the parties to make progress toward that goal,” the official said.
“No deal will be imposed on Israelis and Palestinians.
We are committed to facilitating a deal that improves conditions for both parties.”
Politico reported that the White House has not released any details of Kushner’s trip, including who he met with as a representative of the US government. The report goes on to note that he arrived back in Washington to celebrate the birthday of his wife, Ivanka Trump, at the city’s Trump International Hotel.