Kushner to Serve as Mideast Peace Broker
Amir Tibon, Haaretz, Jan 16 2017
Donald, Ivanka and Jared, Jun 2016. (Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters)
President Trump has reportedly confirmed that he intends to appoint his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a mediator
who will try to broker a peace agreement (with whom? – RB) in the Middle East. Trump made the confirmation, which he had mentioned as an option in the past, in an interview with The Times of London published on Sunday night. Trump officially announced last week that Kushner, 35, will serve as an adviser in his White House, an appointment that could face legal difficulties, since anti-nepotism laws in Pindosi specifically forbid government officials to promote or appoint their own sons-in-law within the government agencies they work for. Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, is considered one of the closest people to the president-elect and played a major role in his election victory. Trump did not provide specific details last week regarding what Kushner’s exact fields of responsibility in the administration would be, but his statement in the Times interview fits with a number of past remarks in which he mentioned his son-in-law, an Orthodox Jew, as his possible envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (what’s that? – RB). He made one such reference in a briefing to the editorial board of the NYT. Kushner, however, is not the only appointee who seems to enjoy Trump’s trust on this issue. Last month Trump announced that Jason Greenblatt, a New York-based attorney who served as his adviser on Israel during the presidential campaign, will also deal with negotiations in the Middle East, in his capacity as a special adviser on international agreements. Greenblatt has worked for Trump’s companies for decades. It remains to be seen how exactly he and Kushner will divide the peace-brokering (the what? – RB) responsibilities. In his interview with the NYT, Trump also urged the Britain to veto any new UNSCR critical of Israel, saying:
(The Iran deal is) one of the dumbest deals I’ve ever seen. They have sanctions on Russia. Let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it.
Here is the first page of the Times interview, again… this is all I’ve got:
Jan 16, 2017 | 4:54am EST
Kremlin says too early to react to Trump nuclear cuts offer
Polina Devitt, Reuters, Jan 16 2017
The Kremlin said on Monday it was too early to comment on a proposal by Trump to do a deal with Moscow on nuclear arms cuts in exchange for Faschingstein lifting sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis. Trump told the Times of London in an interview published online on Sunday that he would propose offering to end sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Putin. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in a conference call with reporters, said Russia would wait until Trump took office before commenting on any proposed deals. There were currently no talks on possible nuclear arms cuts with Pindoastan, and Russia did not intend to raise the sanctions issue itself in negotiations with foreign countries, said Peskov. He also dismissed media reports of a planned meeting between Putin and Trump, saying:
All these statements about preliminary agreements about a meeting do not correspond to reality. Right now there are no agreements, drafts or any preparations underway for a meeting, because the president and Mr Trump have not discussed this in any way.
Asked if the Kremlin agreed with Trump’s view that NATO is obsolete, Peskov said the Kremlin had long been making the same point.