Kushner, Greenblatt begin peace push with visit to Moroccan king

The two senior Trump aides met with King Mohammed VI ahead of a conference in Bahrain scheduled for June. 

By World Israel News Staff and AP

U.S. presidential special adviser Jason Greenblatt is heralding a gathering with Moroccan officials on Tuesday that he and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner attended as the two senior U.S. aides work to garner support for a conference next month on providing economic support for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“Honored to share an Iftar this evening with His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, and Jared Kushner,” Greenblatt tweeted. The Iftar is the meal at the conclusion of the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“Thank you to His Majesty for a special evening and for sharing your wisdom. Morocco is an important friend and ally of the United States,” Greenblatt added.

The White House is promoting a June 25-26 conference in the Gulf state of Bahrain as the first phase of its long-awaited Mideast peace plan, which envisions large-scale investment and infrastructure work, much of it funded by wealthy Arab countries, in the Palestinian territories.

Kushner announced the plans for the Bahrain conference last week, saying it would focus on economic issues and investment in the PA territories.

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But American officials say the Bahrain conference will not include the core political issues of the conflict: borders of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees, or Israeli security demands.

The White House says that, in addition to Morocco, the current Kushner-Greeblatt mission includes stops in Jordan and Israel, as well as Europe.

Jordan and Egypt have not announced their plans for participation in the conference. For now, the Americans are pinning their hopes on wealthy Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, hoping their regional influence and financial resources can make the conference a success.

The Saudis, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, along with host Bahrain, have accepted invitations to attend.

The Palestinians will not attend the Bahrain meeting.

“The deal of the century [Trump’s peace plan] or the deal of shame will go to hell, with God’s will, and the economic project they are working on next month will go to hell too,” Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas said this week in an address which aired on Palestine TV, adding that “whoever wants to solve the Palestinian issue must start with the political issue, not by selling the illusions of billions” of dollars.

Palestinian officials have called on Arab countries not to attend the Bahrain workshop. Abbas is expected to step up those calls at two events later this week in Saudi Arabia.