Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and his father-in-law President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace team will travel to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia next week to address the ongoing conflict in Gaza, a U.S. national security official said.
Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, a special representative for international negotiations, will visit all three places, and make other stops, “to discuss the situation in Gaza and to discuss the next stages of the peace effort, as well as get some ideas from players in the region about some remaining questions the White House peace team has,” a National Security Council spokesperson told Newsweek in an email Wednesday.
However, Kushner and Greenblatt are not scheduled to meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah, just north of Jerusalem, “because the Palestinian leadership made it clear they don’t want to meet the peace team,” the spokesperson said.
The White House peace team did not request a sit-down with the Palestinians, who have refused to meet since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the U.S. embassy there.
“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 spokesperson said.
A U.S. official also told Axios that the Trump administration wants to launch a peace plan when the circumstances are “right,” and that Kushner and Greenblatt are interested in input from the parties involved. No date for the peace plan has been set, according to the official.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is slated to arrive in Washington, D.C., this week, for regular meetings and to “catch up” with Kushner and Greenblatt before the head to the Middle East, the official said. Friedman’s visit reportedly was not geared toward ironing out a peace plan for the region.
Kushner, who received a permanent security clearance in late May after more than a year of working with an interim clearance or less, was given the hefty task of forging peace in the Middle East by the president, despite lacking prior government experience.
In February, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Kushner’s plan was “fairly well advanced” and that it would be “up to the president to decide when he feels it’s time and he’s ready to put that plan forward.”
While Israeli officials have confidence in the Trump administration’s efforts to bring peace, Palestinians and others in the region expressed that Trump sabotaged talks by moving the embassy to Jerusalem.