Kushner meets Jordan king in push for US peace plan

Amman (AFP) –


US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner met Jordan's king on Wednesday during the second leg of a mini-tour of the region to seek support for his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, the royal palace said.

The White House is expected to unveil the long-awaited plan possibly as early as next month.

The Palestinians, who have boycotted Trump's administration since its 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, have already rejected the plan as heavily biased against them.

Jordan's King Abdullah II insisted Wednesday on the "need to intensify efforts to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace based on the two-state solution, that would guarantee the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital".

The remarks, carried in a palace statement, were made in the presence of Kushner, who is set to visit Israel later this week.

The senior White House adviser is accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special representative for international negotiations, and Brian Hook, the special US representative for Iran.

They arrived in Jordan from Morocco, where they met King Mohammed VI -- chair of the Al-Quds Committee for supporters of the Palestinian cause across the Arab world.

It was created by the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation to work for the preservation of the religious, cultural and urban heritage of Jerusalem.

The meeting in Rabat focused on developments in the Middle East and North Africa as well as strengthening the partnership between Morocco and the US, a palace spokesman told AFP.

Greenblatt tweeted that he and Kushner shared an iftar dinner -- the traditional meal to break the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- with Morocco's king, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

"Thank you to His Majesty for a special evening and for sharing your wisdom," Greenblatt wrote. "Morocco is an important friend & ally of the United States."

- Bahrain conference -

The United States is expected to roll out the economic aspects of the peace plan at a conference in Bahrain on June 25-26.

It has yet to commit to an exact timetable for the political aspects of the plan.

Kushner is the chief architect of the proposals. Greenblatt, a longtime Trump lawyer, has served as his right-hand man on the initiative.

The Bahrain gathering, dubbed "Peace for Prosperity", is expected to bring together leaders from several governments, civil society and the business sector.

But the Palestinian leadership, already angered by Trump's Jerusalem move and his slashing of funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, will not attend the event, saying they were not consulted about it.

Trump's office said it aimed to discuss and drum up support for "potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement".

Palestinians see this as offering financial rewards for accepting ongoing Israeli occupation.

"Attempts at promoting an economic normalisation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected," said Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Kushner, who will meet up with Trump in London after his Middle East trip, has stayed tight-lipped on the US plan.