May 28, 2019 - World

Kushner on Middle East tour ahead of peace rollout

Jared Kushner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in 2017. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner, the head of the White House's Israeli-Palestinian peace team, traveled to the Middle East on Monday night on a visit to Morocco, Jordan and Israel, a senior White House official told me.

Why it matters: Kushner will arrive in Israel on Thursday, meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the tail end of a coalition crisis that could lead to new elections. Netanyahu's deadline for forming a new government is set to expire on Wednesday night, and new elections in Israel could be yet another hurdle for the Trump administration's peace plan.

  • Trump jumped into the coalition crisis over the weekend when he tweeted in support of Netanyahu's efforts to form a new coalition. An hour later Netanyahu used Trump's tweet to publicly slam his political opponent former Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman, putting public pressure on him to join the coalition.

Details: Kushner arrived in Rabat Tuesday morning and will meet with senior Moroccan officials. On Wednesday, Kushner will arrive in Amman and meet Jordan's King Abdullah to discuss Jordanian participation in the U.S.-led Bahrain conference next month, which will launch the economic part of the White House peace plan. The Palestinians are pushing the Jordanians to boycott the conference.

  • Jason Greenblatt, the White House's special envoy for Middle East peace, and Brian Hook, the State Department's Iran envoy, are also joining Kushner on the trip.

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