Report: US officials secretly visited Saudi Arabia amid regional peace efforts


( President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, purportedly embarked on a secret visit to Saudi Arabia last week to discuss renewed U.S.-led peace efforts in the Middle East, Politico reported Sunday. 

Presidential adviser Jared Kushner (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in August. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

The White House made no public announcement about the alleged trip, during which the Trump administration’s international negotiations representative, Jason Greenblatt, and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell reportedly accompanied Kushner. The same group of senior U.S. officials also visited the region in August.

A White House official told Politico that Greenblatt has “been in frequent contact with” senior officials from several Arab states, including Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and that “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.”

Diplomatic pressure from Saudi Arabia during the secret meeting reportedly led to the White House demanding that Israel delay legislation that would integrate some Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria into the Jerusalem municipality, the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan reported.

Posted on October 31, 2017 .