Kushner arrives in Jordan after meeting Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to press US peace plan

Moroccan King Mohammed VI sharing an Iftar meal with Jared Kushner, ( AFP/ Moroccan Royal Palace)
Updated 29 May 2019

Kushner arrives in Jordan after meeting Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to press US peace plan

  • Trump administration expected to unveil the peace plan possibly as early as next month
  • Kushner is accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, and Brian Hook, the special US representative for Iran

RABAT: US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner met Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Tuesday in Rabat as part of a fresh push on a long-promised but yet-to-be-delivered peace plan for the region.
The trip — which will also include stops in Amman and Jerusalem — comes amid a flurry of other administration moves to shore up alliances with Arab allies against Iran and the deployment of warships and bombers to the region.
Kushner is accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, and Brian Hook, the special US representative for Iran.

The meeting in Rabat focused on developments in the Middle East and North Africa as well as strengthening the partnership between Morocco and the US, a palace spokesman told AFP.
Greenblatt tweeted that he and Kushner shared an iftar dinner — the traditional meal to break the daily fast during the Ramadan — with Morocco’s king, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
“Thank you to His Majesty for a special evening and for sharing your wisdom,” Greenblatt wrote. “Morocco is an important friend & ally of the United States.”

Opinion

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The Trump administration is expected to unveil the peace plan — after numerous failures by its predecessors — possibly as early as next month, but the Palestinians have already rejected it as heavily biased in favor of Israel.
Washington has yet to commit to an exact timetable with respect to the political aspects of the plan.
Kushner is the chief architect of the proposals and Greenblatt, a longtime Trump lawyer, has served as his right-hand man on the Middle East initiative.
Upon his arrival in the White House more than two years ago, Trump proclaimed his ambition to secure a final accord ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But the odds of his succeeding where every previous US president — Republicans as well as Democrats — have failed appear particularly low.
Palestinians have boycotted the process since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.
The US is expected to roll out the economic aspects of the peace plan at a conference in Bahrain on June 25-26.
Co-hosts US and Bahrain have billed it as “a pivotal opportunity... to share ideas, discuss strategies and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”
But Palestinian political leaders say they will boycott it and Palestinian business leaders said they won’t go either.

 


Grace 1 tanker raises Iranian flag, changes name to ‘Adrian Darya-1’

Updated 13 min 27 sec ago

Grace 1 tanker raises Iranian flag, changes name to ‘Adrian Darya-1’

  • British Royal Marines seized the vessel in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria
  • Gibraltar lifted a detention order on the vessel on Thursday but its fate was further complicated by the US

GIBRALTAR: An Iranian tanker caught in a stand-off between Tehran and the West has raised an Iranian flag and has had a new name painted on its side, Reuters images of the stationary vessel filmed off Gibraltar showed on Sunday.
British Royal Marines seized the vessel in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions.
Video footage and photographs showed the tanker flying the red, green and white flag of Iran and bearing the new name of ‘Adrian Darya-1’ painted in white on its hull. Its previous name, ‘Grace 1’, had been painted over. The vessel’s anchor was still down.
The Grace 1 had originally flown the Panamian flag but Panama’s Maritime Authority said in July that the vessel had been de-listed after an alert that indicated the ship had participated in or was linked to terrorism financing.
Gibraltar lifted a detention order on the vessel on Thursday but its fate was further complicated by the United States, which made a last-ditch legal appeal to hold it.
The initial impounding of the Grace 1 kicked off a sequence of events that saw Tehran seize a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf two weeks later, heightening tension on a vital international oil shipping route.
That tanker, the Stena Impero, is still detained.
The two vessels have since become pawns in a bigger game, feeding into wider hostilities since the United States last year pulled out of an international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, and reimposed economic sanctions.