Trump's son-in-law Kushner heads for West Asia
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner will travel to Israel and Palestine this week to discuss next steps in the search for an elusive peace formula.world Updated: Jun 20, 2017 07:27 IST
Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner is headed for Israel and Palestine later this week in the first major follow-up to President Donald Trump’s recent trip to the region and to discuss priorities and next steps in the search for a peace formula that has eluded every recent US administration.
Kushner, embroiled in an escalating Russia controversy like his father-in-law, is expected to meet Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the White House told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.
Kushner, who has been called Trump’s secretary for everything because of the multiplicity of tasks and responsibilities heaped on him, has no expertise in the matter or contacts in the region - necessary qualifications for presidential emissaries before him - other than close personal ties to Netanyahu.
Skepticism remains about his ability to do much. The White House has sought to tamp down expectations about his upcoming visit.
“It’s important to remember that forging a historic peace agreement will take time, and to the extent that there is progress, there are likely to be many visits by both Mr Kushner and Mr Greenblatt, sometimes together and sometimes separately, to the region,” a White House official told the Journal, referencing Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s top adviser on Israel and Palestine.
The visit will afford Kushner a chance to get away from the Russia controversy that has cast a shadow on the White House and on him personally, with reports suggesting special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into his business and financial dealings in connection with his contacts with Russians,
Trump, his father-in-law, has been under investigation for obstruction of justice — for allegedly trying to stop the FBI probe into his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — by his own admission, which a lawyer from his legal team has disputed in a string of TV interviews.