Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, said Washington would likely announce its Middle East peace plan even if Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, angered by US policy so far, chose to remain on the sidelines.
In an interview that appeared in Arabic on Sunday in the Palestinian newspaper Al Quds, Kushner – who is meeting leaders in the region, but not Abbas – questioned his ability to make a deal and said the US proposal would be published soon.
In a surprising interview with AlQuds newspaper, #Kushner promises the #Palestinian people a fair deal but gives them no evidence of fairness or hope other than good intentions. The Palestinians have repeatedly seen this movie before over the past 70 years https://t.co/52AX3SKoxv
— Khalil Jahshan (@KhalilEJahshan) June 24, 2018
Abbas has refused to see Trump’s team following his decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US Embassy there. The Palestinians want their own future state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Americans have to understand 'there's no point looking for alternatives'https://t.co/X50nghdVfF
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) June 23, 2018
According to an English-language transcript released in Washington, Kushner said:
“If President Abbas is willing to come back to the table, we are ready to engage; if he is not, we will likely air the plan publicly. However, I do question how much President Abbas has the ability to, or is willing to, lean into finishing a deal. He has his talking points which have not changed in the last 25 years.”
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, said that he is "ready to work" with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as he visits the region as part of an effort to broker a peace deal, a newspaper reported on Sunday. https://t.co/rcScDY7mqB
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 24, 2018
Commenting on the interview, Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Abbas, said:
“The road to peace is clear – a commitment to the two-state solution, a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. This is the road to any negotiations or any meetings.”
President Abbas said"we want to live in peace alongside the State of Israel."
I do not see boundaries to see two states. Israel does not abide by the borders and does not even allow the Palestinians to live in peace on the 1967 borders, and settlement incursions are increasing
— Shirene Kamal Yaseen (@ShireneYaseen) April 21, 2018
Kushner, who along with US envoy Jason Greenblatt, visited Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt before talks on Friday and Saturday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Arab leaders conveyed they wanted to see a Palestinian state.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) June 23, 2018
The Trump administration has said it would support a two-state solution if both sides agree to it, but in the interview, Kushner did not commit to Palestinian statehood, long the foundation of US policy in the region.
The plan is expected to propose detailed solutions to core issues in dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians, such as borders, the future of Israeli settlements, the fate of Palestinian refugees and security.
— Spectrum News (@ProNewsViews) June 24, 2018
Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 war. Israeli forces and settlers pulled out of the Gaza Strip, now controlled by Hamas, in 2005.
Most experts question whether Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and Greenblatt – both of whom have no diplomatic background – can achieve any deal in one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.
Kushner speaks directly to Palestinians: 'Not everyone will agree that it’s the right package, but reaching for peace takes courage'https://t.co/mAKiyChsHr
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) June 24, 2018
In the interview, which was headlined, “I am ready to work with President Abbas if he wishes” and published in Arabic, Kushner gave a direct message to the Palestinian people:
“You deserve to have a bright future. Now is a time where both the Israelis and Palestinians must bolster and re-focus their leadership, to encourage them to be open towards a solution and to not be afraid of trying.”
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)