Kushner paid secret visit to Saudi Arabia for peace push — report
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Kushner paid secret visit to Saudi Arabia for peace push — report

White House mum on trip details, but says Trump's adviser in 'frequent contact' with Israeli, Palestinian and other Mideast leaders

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner watches a ceremony where President Donald Trump was presented with The Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal, at the Royal Court Palace, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner watches a ceremony where President Donald Trump was presented with The Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal, at the Royal Court Palace, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, paid a secret visit to Saudi Arabia last week in his latest effort to restart Mideast peace talks.

Kushner also briefly traveled to Israel, Jordan and Egypt during his four-day foray in the region, a White House official told Politico on Sunday. He was joined by Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt.

The trip was Kushner’s fourth to the region in under a year.

The White House declined to give further details on his visit, only saying in a statement that Kushner, Powell and Greenblatt “recently returned from Saudi Arabia.” The statement added that Kusher was in “frequent contact” with Israeli, Palestinian and other regional leaders.

Earlier on Sunday, Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to restart the peace process.

A senior US official told The Times of Israel the meeting was “a general check-in on peace conversations.”

Greenblatt has traveled to the region numerous times to meet with Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, and Jordanian officials on a new peace push, whose parameters have not yet been announced.

Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, left, meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, June 20, 2017. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

The Trump administration has openly made clinching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal a priority, while stressing negotiations would take time and refraining from strong criticism of Israeli settlement activity.

Trump has distanced himself from the decades-old stance of previous administrations in support of a two-state solution and has said it will be up to the parties to decide on the outcome of a negotiated settlement.

The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has been comatose since 2014 when a US push collapsed.

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