According to Israeli and Arab sources, the Americans hope to secure funding from the Gulf states for new economic projects to calm the situation in Gaza and generate momentum before the White House presents its Middle East peace plan.
The US team are expected to have meetings in Jerusalem, Cairo and Riyadh, but have now added visits to Doha and Amman. They have also agreed to visit Europe to consult with leaders about the plan, although no date has been set. The team will not visit the Palestinian Authority (PA) as Palestinian leaders refuse to meet with them in protest at the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesperson for the PA, said: “The round is doomed to absolute failure, which will lead to further destabilisation and will push the region into the unknown.”
According to Channel 10 News the UK is organising a meeting of Foreign Ministers from key European and Arab states to present parameters to Kushner and Greenblatt that it expects to see in the US peace plan.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met Kushner in Washington and reportedly told him that if he wants the US peace plan to succeed, they should listen to European allies who have been invested in the peace process for decades.
Johnson also spoke with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia about his initiative to organise a meeting. A Western diplomat briefed on those conversations said Johnson wants to draft a set of principles for the Europeans to present to the White House, which will include “red lines” on which their support for the US plan depends.
On Friday Kushner and Greenblatt along with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and discussed the efforts to advance the Middle East peace process and to meet the humanitarian needs of the Gaza Strip. It was reported yesterday that Guterres will publish a new report later this week about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the danger of a new war between Israel and Hamas.