77274
Kushner Leaving Tillerson in the Dark on Mideast Issues
International

Kushner Leaving Tillerson in the Dark on Mideast Issues

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is increasingly alarmed by what he sees as secret talks between Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman —  fearful that the discussions could backfire and tip the region into chaos, according to three people familiar with Tillerson’s concerns.
The central goal of the negotiations, as described by two people with knowledge of the talks, is for an historic agreement featuring the creation of a Palestinian state or territory backed financially by a number of countries including Saudi Arabia, which could put tens of billions of dollars toward the effort.
A Middle East peace treaty has been a US goal for decades, and at the start of his administration Trump assigned the 36-year-old Kushner to head up the effort to make it happen.
Tillerson believes Kushner hasn’t done enough to share details of the talks with the state department, according to the people, leaving senior US diplomats in the dark on the full extent of the highly sensitive negotiations.
“The problem is, the senior presidential adviser does not consult with the state department —and it’s unclear the level of consultation that goes on with the National Security Council,” one of the people familiar with Tillerson’s concerns said, referring to the National Security Council. “And that’s a problem for both the NSC and the state department and it’s not something we can easily solve.”
Tillerson and other senior state department officials are also concerned that Saudi leaders, having been held at arm’s length by President Barack Obama, see the connection with Kushner as a way to regain influence in the White House and US backing for actions that could be controversial. Already, Mohammed, heir to the Saudi throne, has put several such steps into motion.
Those include summoning Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Riyadh, where he initially resigned only to postpone his decision upon returning to Beirut; the arrest and detention of dozens of Saudi princes, ministers and businessmen on corruption charges; and a more aggressive posture in the war in Yemen. Indeed, Trump tweeted his support for the anti-graft crackdown and the White House has offered only muted comments on Hariri and the conflict in Yemen.
Tillerson is concerned that Saudi Arabia may want to act with a freer hand in Qatar, moving beyond its economic embargo to pursue military action, according to the people.
Tillerson has concluded that even Trump didn’t know all of the details of Kushner’s discussions with the crown prince.
Kushner has grown close to Prince Mohammed, 32, and has traveled to Saudi Arabia for some of the discussions. What’s worrisome to US officials is that Kushner may have given the Saudis secret assurances that don’t have wider support.

 

Short URL : https://goo.gl/yiqZd4
  1. https://goo.gl/eYSZfh
  • https://goo.gl/uXoRuR
  • https://goo.gl/3R4hrR
  • https://goo.gl/a8X5av
  • https://goo.gl/6a8eem

You can also read ...

Nicolas Maduro
Nicolas Maduro has been declared the winner of Sunday's...
Ebola Vaccination Campaign in DR Congo
An Ebola vaccination campaign was to begin on Monday in the...
Trump Demands Inquiry Into Campaign “Infiltration”
US President Donald Trump said he will “demand” that the...
Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (R) speaks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad, Iraq on May 19.
Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia leader whose bloc beat expectations...
Hawaii’s Volcano Lava Reaches Sea, Injures 1
A volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii’s...

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints

Trending

Googleplus