Kushner to Hold Farewell Tour of Gulf
Six weeks before they leave office, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his team will head to Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the coming days to hold talks with US allies following the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear official and amid rising tensions in the region. Kushner, joined by Middle East envoys Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook, will meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the city of Neom, where bin Salman met Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week. The United States delegation will then continue to Qatar and meet its emir. A White House official commenting on the last-second trip told Reuters that the team hopes to advance further normalization agreements between the Gulf states and Israel, similar to the ones signed by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan. Yet after news of last week’s rare summit between Netanyahu and the crown prince was leaked, Riyadh has signaled it does not intend to officially recognize Israel anytime soon, instead focusing on the two countries’ shared fears of a nuclear Iran and a possibly more Iran-accommodating Biden Administration.