Senior U.S. Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner held talks with Jordanian officials in Jordan today including with King Abdullah the Second. He was accompanied by the U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Official White House sources said that the trip was the first leg of a wider Middle East regional visit that is set to include Israel and Morocco, in efforts to shore up support for the soon-to-be unveiled U.S. peace initiative. The first phase of the President Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century,” specifically the economic part of the initiative, will be presented in Bahrain at a conference, scheduled for the 25th and 26th of June.
Meanwhile; the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah officially announced that it will not attend the Bahrain U.S.-initiated economic workshop, despite its stated purpose of securing regional investment in the Palestinian territories. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas proclaimed that the “solution to the question of Palestine must begin with a political solution and not an economic one,” and that “the (American) peace plan and the economic conference will go to hell.”
In efforts to appease the Palestinians, major Arab states have announced their intention to hold two multilateral meetings of their own in Mecca. The first gathering is to include leaders from the Gulf States, while the second will expand to all 22 members of the Arab League – which includes Palestinian representatives. No additional details were available, as of yet.