Jan 31, 2019 - World

White House "peace team" to attend Warsaw Middle East conference

Kushner and some cameras. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The White House "peace team" — senior adviser Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt — will attend the Warsaw conference on the Middle East on Feb. 13-14, a senior White House official tells me. Kushner and Greenblatt are expected to hold meetings with foreign officials on the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Why it matters: Among the foreign officials in attendance will be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan. The Palestinians and the Iranians were not invited. One of the Trump administration's goals in developing its peace plan is to warm relations between Israel and the Gulf states.

The conference was first framed as an anti-Iran event but after protests from several U.S. allies and pressure on Poland from Iran it was reframed as "The Ministerial Conference to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East." Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also attend.

What to watch: Kushner is expected to participate in one of the sessions of the conference. It's still unclear how much, if anything, he will reveal about the U.S. peace plan during the conference. The plan has been in the works for the last two years but won't be launched before the April 9th elections in Israel.

Go deeper