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Jared Kushner. Photo: Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will travel to Jerusalem and several other capitals in the Middle East next week to discuss how to move forward with the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, senior U.S. officials told me.

Why it matters: This will be an important trip for the progress of the U.S. peace plan — both the economic and political components. The White House is currently in discussions over the timing for revealing the political part of the U.S. peace plan, which has been thrown off as a result of new elections being called in Israel.

President Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt said in an interview with PBS last week that the White House is considering whether or not to release the political part of the peace plan before the Sept. 17 elections. Greenblatt said that no decision has been made and that President Trump will be the one to make the final call.

The big picture: Kushner will arrive in the region with Greenblatt; Brian Hook, the special envoy for Iran; and Avi Berkowitz, Kushner's deputy. U.S. officials said Kushner and his team are expected to visit Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Qatar and Jerusalem, but that the final itinerary might still change.

  • The U.S. officials said the goal of the trip is to continue talks with Israel and the Arab countries about the economic part of the plan, which was presented during the Bahrain conference several weeks ago. It's also possible Kushner’s discussions in the region will deal with the political part of the peace plan.

One of the main items Kushner is seeking to promote during the upcoming trip is the establishment of a multinational fund that will bankroll and monitor the plan to boost the Palestinian economy through projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

  • U.S. officials told me that 2 weeks ago Kushner met with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and president of the World Bank David Malpass to discuss the establishment of the multinational fund.
  • Last week, Kushner met in Washington with the foreign minister of Bahrain, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, and proposed basing the fund in Manama. The Bahrainis agreed, but Kushner wants to get other Arab countries on board. Kushner also wants to hear from Arab leaders about how much money they are willing to donate to help boost the Palestinian economy.

Go deeper: My exclusive interview with Bahrain's foreign minister

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.

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