U.S. President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner is currently touring the Middle East to drum up support for Washington’s plan for the Israeli-Palestinian peace, better known as the “Deal of the Century.”
The U.S. envoy’s regional tour has already taken him to Jordan and Israel to discuss the controversial peace plan that has been rejected by the Palestinians. Kushner met on Thursday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo.
Both sides discussed “ways to consolidate peace and stability in the region in the light of the instability it suffers from,” the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.
“President al-Sisi stressed that Egypt supports all efforts seeking to reach a just and comprehensive settlement for the Palestinian issue,” said Bassam Rady, Egyptian presidential spokesman.
“Settling the Israeli-Palestinian issue should come on the basis of the two-state solution with the aim of establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” al-Sisi was quoted as saying.
“There is no use of the U.S. running negotiations as the Palestinians completely reject Kushner’s plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace,” said Tariq Fahmy, a professor of political science at the American University in Cairo.
Kushner seeks to achieve several goals through his regional tour, including collecting funds to boost the economic aspect of the deal which was announced in a workshop in Bahrain in June, Fahmy told Xinhua.
During the workshop, Kushner said he aimed at luring investments worth of 50 billion U.S. dollars in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan to create 1 million job opportunities for the Palestinians as well as doubling the GDP in 10 years.
But the “opportunity of the century,” as Kushner dubs it, hasn’t mentioned anything about the Palestinians’ demands for the establishment of their own independent state, Fahmy noted.
Kushner’s visit to Egypt came in parallel with a statement released by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which called on all Arab countries to reject all details about the U.S. peace deal, deeming it “as an Israeli project to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”
The PLO statement, issued after a PLO meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, highlighted the necessity to abide by the Arab Peace Initiative and stop all kinds of normalization with Israel.
“The Palestinian people hasn’t authorized any person to negotiate on their behalf,” the statement said.
Nourhan el-Sheikh, a political expert, said Kushner’s visit aims to guarantee that important Arab countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia wouldn’t oppose or hinder the U.S. approach toward the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
In addition, “Trump needs to succeed in the Middle East peace process” before the presidential elections, el-Sheikh told Xinhua.
Egypt only accept the two-state solution while Washington’s plan only focuses on one state, definitely Israel, and self-rule for the Palestinians, she noted.
The Palestinian Authority has been boycotting the U.S. government since 2017 following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.