Jun 24, 2018

Kushner criticizes Abbas in interview with Palestinian newspaper

Kushner at the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is leading President Trump's Middle East peace team, gave an interview to a leading Palestinian newspaper, which was published today. The White House has released a transcript in English. The key quote:

"[Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] has his talking points which have not changed in the last 25 years. There has been no peace deal achieved in that time. To make a deal both sides will have to take a leap and meet somewhere between their stated positions. I am not sure President Abbas has the ability to do that."

Why it matters: Axios contributor Barak Ravid, who scooped news of the interview yesterday, notes that it marks an effort by the White House to speak directly to the Palestinian people before unveiling its Middle East peace plan, which Abbas' Palestinian leadership has said it will not even read.

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