Tuesday, June 25 2019

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Kushner meets Moroccan king on trip to press US peace plan

Update: May, 29/2019 - 10:22

RABAT US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner met Morocco's King Mohammed VI on Tuesday in Rabat as part of a fresh push on a long-promised but yet-to-be-delivered peace plan for the region.

The trip -- which will also include stops in Amman and Jerusalem -- comes amid a flurry of other administration moves to shore up alliances with  Arab allies against Iran and the deployment of warships and bombers to the region.

Kushner is accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special representative for international negotiations, and Brian Hook, the special US representative for Iran.

The meeting in Rabat focused on developments in the Middle East and North Africa as well as strengthening the partnership between Morocco and the US, a palace spokesman told AFP.

Greenblatt tweeted that he and Kushner shared an iftar dinner -- the traditional meal to break the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- with Morocco's king, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

"Thank you to His Majesty for a special evening and for sharing your wisdom," Greenblatt wrote. "Morocco is an important friend & ally of the United States."

The Trump administration is expected to unveil the peace plan -- after numerous failures by its predecessors -- possibly as early as next month, but the Palestinians have already rejected it as heavily biased in favor of Israel.

Washington has yet to commit to an exact timetable with respect to the political aspects of the plan.

Kushner is the chief architect of the proposals and Greenblatt, a longtime Trump lawyer, has served as his right-hand man on the Middle East  Initiative.

Upon his arrival in the White House more than two years ago, Trump proclaimed his ambition to secure a final accord ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But the odds of his succeeding where every previous US president -- Republicans as well as Democrats -- have failed appear particularly low.

Palestinians have boycotted the process since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017. AFP

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