Kushner says UAE, Bahrain ‘have more influence’ to solve Palestinian issue following normalising ties with Israel

Bassem Aly , Wednesday 16 Sep 2020

Kushner’s comments came after the UAE and Bahrain signed normalisation agreements with Israel at the White House

Jared Kushner
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner does a television interview at the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Washington. (Photo: AP)

US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser said Tuesday that both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) “will have more influence” to solve the Palestinian issue after normalising relations with Israel.

“I will say that if you look at what the United Arab Emirates did today and what Bahrain did today, they will have more influence to help Israel solve the Palestinian issue, as allies and normalised countries with Israel, than they would having no say at the table,” Jared Kushner told Alarabiya.

Kushner praised “new leadership and thinking” as factors that pushed the United States to work on solving the problem of Arab-Israeli relations.

But he insisted that the Arab Peace Initiative is “not a viable pathway”, describing this situation as the “reality”.

“People point to the Arab Peace Initiative, which was a very noble effort when it was done in 2002. But if it would have worked, then there would have been peace 15-20 years ago,” Kushner told the Saudi TV channel.

Kushner noted that there is a plan to develop the Palestinian economy.

On Tuesday, the UAE and Bahrain officially signed US-sponsored normalisation agreements with Israel in Washington DC.

The so-called Abraham Accords between the UAE and Israel involves the “establishment of peace and diplomatic relations”, “mutual understanding, cooperation and coordination between them in the spheres of peace and stability” and cooperation in a wide range of activities.

Cooperation includes areas of healthcare, science, technology and peaceful uses of outer space, tourism, culture and sport, energy, environment, education, maritime agreements, telecommunications, agriculture and food security, and water and legal cooperation.

Trump described the deals as “the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region”.

Including Saudi Arabia, Trump told reporters that Israel will also normalise relations with “seven or eight or nine” other states “at the right time”. 

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