Arab leaders strategize as US team preps for peacemaking trip

As a US delegation helmed by Jared Kushner prepares to jump-start the peace process in Israel, Arab leaders from several nations met in Egypt to plan their strategy.

With a visit to Israel from Jared Kushner and other key advisers to US president Donald Trump on the horizon this week, leaders from Jordan and Egypt met with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Cairo. The meeting appeared to focus on presenting a unified Arab front when the US team arrives to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The three leaders issued a statement Saturday, saying they “appreciated” the US peacemaking efforts.

At a press conference in Cairo, however, al-Maliki announced, “The Americans listened to the united Arab position that there will be no peace without the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders,” Ynet news reported.

Predictably, Al-Maliki raised the issue of the Temple Mount, suggesting that “the rest of our Arab brothers” should join in on ensuring there be no change to the status quo, according to which the holy site remains under the administration of the Jordanian Muslim Trust.

The Palestinian foreign minister also called for closer ties to Hamas. “It is not new or controversial for Egypt to do its part and fulfill its mandate in these negotiations … it must communicate with Hamas in order for the group to mesh with the overall Arab stance,” he said, according to Reuters.

The Palestinians, for their part, had signaled a lack of willingness to engage in good faith negotiations. Arab media recently quoted chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat as saying the current US peacemaking efforts were “redundant” due to the Palestinians’ “lost confidence in the Americans as objective mediators.”

Kushner, too, was overheard saying “there may be no solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Kushner, together with Trump chief international negotiator Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, are scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as well as leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt.

By: World Israel News Staff