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Riyadh to invest millions in Israeli tech via Jared Kushner’s new fund — report

Then-senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner, attending a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 4, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)
Then-senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner, attending a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 4, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

Saudi Arabia is planning to allocate millions of dollars for investments in Israeli tech companies via Jared Kushner’s new private equity firm, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal which cites people familiar with the investment plan.

Kushner, the son-in-law of former US president Doland Trump and an ex-senior adviser, set up Affinity Partners late last year, raising some $3 billion in committed funding from international investors, including the Saudis.

The WSJ report says Riyadh has eyed two Israeli companies for investment, though the names of the firms were not disclosed, nor the sectors in which they operate.

The report says the investment is “the first known instance that the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s cash will be directed to Israel, a sign of the kingdom’s increasing willingness to do business with the country, even though they have no diplomatic relations.”

Last December, The New York Times reported that Affinity Partners has hired some 20 people, and plans to focus on US-based investments as well as those in the Middle East. The report said the Saudi Arabian $450 billion Public Investment Fund was negotiating with Kushner over what could prove to be a sizable investment in Affinity Partners, according to two sources.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Kushner would also open an office in Israel that will promote business ties between Israel, India, Gulf states, and North Africa.

One of Kushner’s last acts as an adviser to Trump was leading the brokering of normalization deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, dubbed the Abraham Accords.

Kushner also took a leading role in running Trump’s campaigns in 2016 and 2020, but has signaled that he is not going to be involved in a possible Trump campaign in 2024.

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