Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, made a secret visit to Saudi Arabia last week with other Trump officials.
The unannounced four-day trip was Kushner’s third to the Saudi Arabia this year and focused on brokering peace in the Middle East, Politico first reported on Sunday.
The White House did not say who Kushner and Trump’s Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell met with during the trip, but a White House source told Politico the visit was part of an ongoing effort by the Trump Administration to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where peace talks have been stalled for decades.
Israel’s leading newspaper, Haaretz reported the officials met with the Gulf Kingdon’s leadership. Kushner has reportedly developed a relationship with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman, who is also in his 30s.
This dispute has been a passion project for Kushner.
“Jared has always been driven to try and solve the Israel-Palestinian dispute,” billionaire real estate investor Tom Barrack, a close Trump confidant told Politico. “The key to solving that dispute is Egypt. And the key to Egypt is Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.”
Since Trump took office in January, Kushner and Greenblatt have been working diplomatic angles for peaceful solutions in the Middle East, meeting with leaders from Amman to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Dubai and Cairo. The White House has emphasized that peace between Israel and Palestine in a top priority for the Trump administration.
“While these regional talks will play an important role, the president reaffirms that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties and that the United States will continue working closely with the parties to make progress toward that goal,” the White House official told Politico in a statement.
Kushner, flying commercially, returned on Saturday night for a surprise birthday dinner at the Trump International Hotel
for his wife, Ivanka Trump, who turns 36 Monday.