Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior advisor, recently took a Mideast tour that included a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Kushner has been on the radar for having close ties with the Saudi prince and his father prior to this latest meeting.
- Kushner’s Middle East tour included stops in Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this tour was to brief the United States’ allies on a proposal for a peace deal with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. If all goes well this peace plan could launch by April.
- Congress is not pleased with the White House or Kushner having a meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince. This criticism stems back to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October of 2018.
- The White House has yet to comment about Salman or his father being involved in the journalist’s murder. The CIA, however, has been outspoken in its belief that the crown prince was responsible – and perhaps even ordered the killing himself.
- Kushner has said, “We have to be able to work with our allies, and Saudi Arabia has, I think, been a very strong ally in terms of pushing back on Iran’s aggression.” He continues, “The Middle East is a rough place. It’s been a rough place for a very long time. We have to be able to pursue our strategic objectives. But we also have to deal with what is obviously a terrible situation.”
- The Saudi Crown Prince and his father, King Salman, have maintained their innocence and lack of involvement in the journalist’s murder.
- The Trump Administration, with Kushner leading the way, moved forward by meeting with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed to discuss Iran and keep the Kingdom in the loop as a strategic partner. The White House feels that they need to maintain a good relationship with the Saudis if they want to continue working to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Again, Trump and the White House are looking ahead at what will benefit the United States. This meeting was a well thought out strategy by the Trump Administration. The fact that Congress doesn’t see the benefit is not surprising.