US 'will not chase' Palestinian leadership for peace, says Kushner

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A senior US administration official said Monday that Washington would “not chase the Palestinian leadership” for a peace deal with Israel, days after Tel Aviv and the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement.

Jared Kushner said the ball was now in the Palestinians’ court during a phone briefing with journalists.

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Kushner touched on Israel’s halted annexation plans, which it agreed to in the UAE deal. He said Washington had received assurances that Tel Aviv would not push forward without US consensus on the matter.

“We do not plan on giving our consent for some time. We want Israel to focus on creating new relationships and alliances,” Kushner said.

He blamed Iran for sowing strife and division in the region.

“If you think about the people who don’t want Saudi Arabia and Israel to make a peace agreement, the number one proponent of that is going to be Iran. But I think that just shows that it’s probably the right thing to do,” Kushner told Al Arabiya English during the briefing.

Asked about US-Saudi collaboration peace plans in the Middle East, Kushner said that he had had many discussions with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “They both have a strong place in their hearts for the Palestinians … and they want to see the Palestinian people have a state and economic prosperity,” Kushner said of Saudi Arabia’s leaders.

He added that such an agreement would be good for Saudi business and Saudi defense.

The senior US official, also Trump’s son-in-law, voiced his belief that there would be more normalizations between other Arab countries and Israel soon.

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