U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has confirmed that he intends to use his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner to try to broker an elusive peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
Speaking to The Times of London just days before his inauguration Trump “confirmed that he would appoint Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to broker a Middle East peace deal,” the paper said.
Trump also urged the United Kingdom to veto any new UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel and repeated his criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of the Iran nuclear deal, The Times said.
His comments come days after Trump named Kushner as a senior adviser in the upcoming administration, apparently skirting anti-nepotism regulations.
“Jared has been a tremendous asset and trusted adviser throughout the campaign and transition and I am proud to have him in a key leadership role in my administration,” Trump said at the time, calling him “instrumental in formulating and executing the strategy” behind his election victory.
It’s not the first time Trump has indicated that he sees Kushner playing a key role in any future Mideast diplomacy, saying he would be “very good at it.”
“I mean he knows it so well. He knows the region, knows the people, knows the players,” Trump said in a previous interview.
The interview was published the same day as 70 nations met for the Middle East peace conference in Paris, which called for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump has already indicated that he could consider different approaches, including breaking with longstanding US policy and moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a plan the Palestinians have stridently protested.
Trump’s call on Britain to veto any anti-Israel resolutions comes after the UK was instrumental in drafting the recent Security Council resolution that condemned Israeli settlements. President Obama did not use the US veto.
But in a sign that the UK may be heading his advice, on Sunday it dramatically broke ranks with participants from 70 other countries and criticized the Middle East peace conference in Paris, arguing that it might harden Palestinian negotiating positions and refused to sign a joint statement issued after the summit.
A Foreign Office spokesman said London had “particular reservations” about the Paris meeting taking place without Israeli or Palestinian representatives, especially since a new US administration is being sworn in later this week.