Trump adviser Kushner in Cairo for talks on Mideast peace
Cairo — White House adviser Jared Kushner arrived in Cairo on Wednesday, his latest stop on a tour of the Middle East to explore ways to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Kushner has been tasked by his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, with reviving the peace talks, which last collapsed in 2014. But he has made little evident progress and has yet to lay out a clear vision for what Trump has called the “ultimate deal.”
Kushner arrived to a chilly reception in Egypt, where the Foreign Ministry appeared to have canceled a meeting with the envoy over the administration’s decision to cut nearly $100 million in military and economic aid and delay nearly $200 million in military financing.
The cuts came on the eve of Kushner’s arrival, and were intended to scold Egypt for its lack of progress on human rights and its crackdown on civil society and other non-governmental groups.
Kushner was still scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who Trump has praised as a key ally in the fight against terrorism.
The White House envoy arrived with a delegation that includes Jason Greenblatt, envoy for international negotiations, and Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser.
Kushner’s delegation traveled to Jordan on Tuesday, where they met with King Abdullah II, according to the state-run Petra News Agency. The king acknowledged the importance of U.S. involvement and Trump’s commitment to reach a peace agreement, it said. The U.S. delegation also visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to local media.
On Thursday, the American officials are expected to hold separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. No major breakthroughs are expected.
Trump has yet to fully endorse a two-state solution, which has been at the heart of U.S. policy for nearly two decades. He has said it’s up to Israel and the Palestinians to decide the shape of a final settlement.
Trump has urged Israel to show restraint in settlement construction, but has not demanded a freeze, disappointing Palestinians. He has also delayed fulfilling a campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to disputed Jerusalem. Israel had welcomed the promise, while the Palestinians strongly opposed it.
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