Jared Kushner, son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, who is also a White House adviser, called on Saudi Arabia to normalize relations with Israel, following in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Kushner said normalizing relations would be of great benefit to the Saudis.
As reported AFP, Tuesday (18/8/2020), Kushner said in a statement that it would be in Saudi interests to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel. According to Kushner, this will also weaken Iran’s influence – a common enemy of Saudi and Israel – in the Middle East region.
Not only that, Kushner argues that normalizing relations between Saudis and Israelis will ultimately help the Palestinians.
“It will be very good for the Saudi business, it will be very good for the Saudi defense and, frankly, I think it will help the Palestinian people as well,” Kushner told reporters during a telephone briefing.
Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Arab world, has not yet commented on the UAE-Israel peace agreement. Saudi is known as a close ally of the UAE.
In the peace agreement, the UAE agreed to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel. In return, Israel agreed to suspend the planned annexation of parts of the West Bank, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted the plan was not ruled out.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, along with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), have repeatedly expressed their desire for an independent Palestinian state with economic opportunities.
“What they are basically saying is that … they want to see the Palestinian people have a state and economic opportunity,” said Kushner, who is the architect of Trump’s proposed Middle East peace plan, which the Palestinians have completely rejected.