Jared Kushner apparently has his work cut out selling his Mideast peace plan to the Saudis
Jared Kushner, President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, is expected to release his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan in the next few months, and the details are closely guarded. But based on comments from Kushner and other U.S. officials, plus people familiar with the main elements of the plan, it "promises practical improvements in the lives of Palestinians but is likely to stop short of ensuring a separate, fully sovereign Palestinian state," The Washington Post reports, and it is "likely to focus heavily on Israeli security concerns."
Kushner has been working to build support for his plan in the region, and he's getting mixed reactions in the Arab world, the Post says, describing a recent visit to Saudi Arabia:
That Feb. 26 meeting in Riyadh included Saudi intellectuals and columnists as well as government officials, and the participants were chosen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, one person familiar with the session said. The prince has forged a close relationship with Kushner and is seen as more supportive of the peace plan than is his father, King Salman. "[Kushner] did listen to critical points and questions but wasn't willing to think about criticism and was defensive," the person familiar with the session said. "He seemed to have been surprised when he learned that the majority of people in the room were critical of his plan and told him that King Salman emphasized the rights of the Palestinians." [The Washington Post]
Kushner's plan reportedly envisions tens of billions of dollars in aid and investment for the Palestinians, plus billions more for Egypt and Jordan, and it's not clear where the money would come from. Rich Persian Gulf states "were asked to support financially the economic part," Ghaith al-Omari, a Middle East analyst and former Palestinian Authority adviser, tells the Post. "In polite terms, the answer they gave was, 'First, tell us what we are supposed to pay for.' ... There were no commitments."