Jared Kushner, the Jewish senior adviser and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, has reportedly taken a secret trip to Saudi Arabia, marking his third visit to the monarchy this year.
US Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell and the administration’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt traveled with Kushner on a commercial flight to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and returned on Saturday, Politico reported Sunday, citing a White House official.
“The senior advisor to the president, the deputy national security advisor for strategy, and the special representative for international negotiations recently returned from Saudi Arabia,” the White House official said.
The official further asserted that Kushner has been in touch with Israelis as well as certain countries in the Middle East.
“The senior advisor has also been in frequent contact with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia,” said the official.
The Jewish presidential son-in-law has been tapped as a negotiator to bring about peace between Israel and Palestinians.
Ivanka Trump’s husband is also a person of interest in an ongoing probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, an allegation both side have denied.
“While these regional talks will play an important role, the president reaffirms that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties and that the United States will continue working closely with the parties to make progress toward that goal,” said the unnamed official.
Trump has already suggested that he would not pursue decades of American policy in favor of the so-called two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He has also vowed to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, a move indicating that Washington recognizes the city as the capital of Israel, as the New York billionaire has previously asserted.
Before winning the 2016 election, Trump promised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “recognize Jerusalem (al-Quds) as the undivided capital of the state of Israel.”
Hailed as a “great friend to the Jewish people” by Netanyahu, Trump has mended ties with Israel, which had gone sour under former US President Barack Obama, in part due to his resolve to participate in nuclear negotiations with Iran, which yielded a nuclear deal not welcomed by US regional allies, namely Israel and Saudi Arabia.