Trump officials to visit Mideast this month for peace plan push

White House adviser Jared Kushner attends a meeting with President Donald Trump and Hispanic pastors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington Friday Jan. 25 2019

White House adviser Jared Kushner attends a meeting with President Donald Trump and Hispanic pastors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington Friday Jan. 25 2019

Palestinian officials have been invited to a USA conference on the Middle East hosted by Poland next week, a senior United States official said on Friday, but top Palestinian officials said they would not attend.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will reportedly travel throughout the Middle East later this month to promote the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

The trip - which includes stops in Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, is aimed at building support for the initiative which Kushner has been tasked with leading.

"On his trip to the Middle East, Kushner is expected to discuss with Arab officials the economic parts of the peace plan, which will entail huge investment in the Palestinian economy-mainly in Gaza", reported Axios.

The tour aims to build goodwill and support for a plan that has been widely discredited by the Palestinians, and is seen with skepticism by the global community.

The newspaper added that the visit "will focus only on the economic issues, according to the White House, and not on the political, diplomatic and security aspects of the plan". Even though the officials will not address the administration's vision for a political settlement, the presentations will be the most significant to date of the administration's closely held peace plan.

Kushner and Greenblatt will be accompanied Director of Policy Planning and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Brian Hook, and Kushner's 28-year-old protégé Avi Berkowitz.

"Their [the Arab countries] support, I'm sure in some manner, will be conditioned on whether they are comfortable with the political plan", the official said.

A foreign ministry statement called the event "an American conspiracy meant to get the participants to adopt the USA views on issues of the region, particularly the Palestine question".

The Palestinian foreign ministry also criticised Trump for hailed the U.S. embassy move in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

The Palestinians have refused to talk to the Trump administration since the U.S. leader recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.

On Thursday, Kushner is set to take part in a discussion on how to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Polish capital Warsaw.

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