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Kushner in Saudi Arabia last year. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's Middle East peace team, senior adviser Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt, will travel to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia next week to discuss the next stages of the peace effort and the crisis in Gaza, a senior U.S. official tells me.

Why it matters: The official said Kushner and Greenblatt want to discuss lingering questions they have as they finish drafting the peace plan, including the optimal time for launching it. The U.S. official added the trip may include other stops as well, but does not include a meeting with Palestinian officials — who are refusing to meet following Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

From the U.S. official:

  • "The peace team didn’t ask for a meeting [with the Palestinians] for this trip. The Palestinian leadership will know Kushner and Greenblatt are in the region and if the Palestinian leadership wants to meet, Kushner and Greenblatt are ready to meet."
  • "The administration wants to launch the plan when the circumstances are right, and Kushner and Greenblatt want to hear the parties’ thoughts on that. The administration has not set a date yet for launching the plan."

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is visiting Washington this week. The U.S. official stressed that contrary to several press reports, Friedman was not summoned to Washington to talk about the peace plan but was there for regular meetings. "Ambassador Friedman wanted to catch up with Kushner and Greenblatt before they head to the region", the U.S. official said.

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Go deeper

Biden speaks with Macron for first time since diplomatic crisis

President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have a conversation ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, on June 14, 2021. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time since a diplomatic row erupted over a scrapped submarine order, per the White House.

Driving the news: Macron said that the French ambassador will return to Washington next week and will resume working with senior U.S. officials.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel held secret talks on Iran "plan B"

Bennett and Biden. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney/Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel held secret talks on Iran last week to discuss a possible “plan B” if nuclear talks are not resumed, two senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time a top-secret U.S.-Israel strategic working group on Iran has convened since the new Israeli government took office in June.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan plans to visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE next week

Sullivan. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

White House National Security adviser Jake Sullivan is planning to travel to the Middle East next week, including a stop in Saudi Arabia. He would be the most senior Biden administration official to visit the kingdom.

Why it matters: Sullivan's first trip to the region since taking office is expected to include stops in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, sources briefed on the plans tell Axios. All three countries are longtime U.S. partners who have faced some early tensions with Biden.

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