By Arab News
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received senior US officials including presidential adviser Jared Kushner in Jeddah on Tuesday and discussed efforts to bring about peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
The crown prince also discussed ways to combat terrorist financing with Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, as well as US negotiator Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, the SPA said.
The two sides talked about seeking ways to reach “a real and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians” and ensuring stability in the wider Middle East and beyond, the SPA added.
Both sides also stressed their commitment to bolstering bilateral relations.
They affirmed their joint priorities in cutting off all forms of support to terrorists and extremists, and to coordinate efforts for the development of a global center for combating deviant thought.
The meeting was attended by the Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, State Minister Musaid Al-Aiban and Yasir Al-Rimyan, an adviser at the Cabinet secretariat.
The White House announced the trip earlier this month, saying it was part of a regional tour including meetings with leaders from the UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The US officials are expected to be in Israel on Wednesday, a White House official said. They are planning to meet separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday, according to AP.
Kushner, Greenblatt and Powell have been heavily involved in a behind-the-scenes process to help Trump broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, which the first-year president has called the “ultimate deal.”
The talks this week are aimed at helping forge a path to substantive peace negotiations, but no major breakthroughs are expected.
Trump has not outright endorsed the two-state solution, which has been at the heart of US policy for nearly two decades.
The president has urged Israel to show restraint in settlement construction but not demanded a freeze, disappointing the Palestinians. Trump also pushed back a decision on his campaign pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel has welcomed the promise, while the Palestinians have strongly opposed it.
Kushner was charged with helping to broker a deal between Israelis and Palestinians after Trump took office.
The president visited Saudi Arabia and Israel during his first post-inauguration trip abroad and expressed a personal commitment to reaching a deal that has eluded his Republican and Democratic predecessors, according to Reuters.