Thursday, 17 Oct 2019

Top Trump Advisor Kushner Meets with Saudi Prince

White House senior advisor Jared Kushner met Tuesday with the Saudi crown prince, the first time they met since the October killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The White House said in a statement Wednesday the two discussed a variety of topics in Riyadh, including economic investment in the Middle East and efforts to bring peace to the region.

"Building on previous conversations, they discussed increasing cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and the Trump administration's efforts to facilitate peace between the Israeli's and Palestinians," the statement said.

The statement did not mention Khashoggi, whose murder has raised tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Kushner had cultivated a close relationship with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto leader of the Saudi kingdom. The U.S. intelligence community reportedly concluded the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's killing.

Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, is on a seven-day trip to the Middle East, visiting U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states along with U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.

The three visited Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates earlier this week "to get advice from them on what is the best way to proceed" with the Middle East peace process, Kushner said in an interview with Sky News Arabia in Abu Dhabi.

Kushner declined to disclose details of the U.S. peace proposal, but he has said both the Israelis and the Palestinians must make concessions.

White House officials have said the long-awaited plan could be announced after Israel's April 9 elections that will determine the political future of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On Wednesday, the U.S. delegation visited Turkey, the country in which Khashoggi was murdered. Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist who wrote critically about the Saudi kingdom, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, which sparked global outrage and tarnished the reputation of the crown prince.

Source: Voice of America

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