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'A Good Starting Point': Jared Kushner Says New Middle East Peace Plan Recognizes Ages-Old Challenges

05-04-2019
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Presidential adviser Jared Kushner. (AP Photo)
Presidential adviser Jared Kushner. (AP Photo)

The long-awaited Middle East peace plan is taking shape. 

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner just gave a glimpse of their recommendations to help end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Kushner says the "detailed" plan addresses core issues of the age-old dispute. 
    
The president's senior adviser said President Trump himself was "hands on" and that "people will be surprised with what is in" the proposal. 
    
Kushner said the plan could lead to a breakthrough in Middle East peace. 

"What we will be able to put together is a solution that we believe is a good starting point," he said. 

That starting point aims to get both the Israeli's and Palestinians to talk to each other.  

"What I see in the region is that the big divide now is you have leaders that are trying to empower their people and create more opportunity for them to have a better life," Kushner noted. "And then you have leaders that are trying to repress their people and often using religion and other excuses as a reason to try and hold their people down." 

While Kushner calls proposal "detailed"– it's unclear if any of those details include anything resembling a two-state solution. 

"What we want to do is put something out that we think is based on logic where unquestionably we can say that this will lead to the Palestinian people living a much better life," he added. 

The challenge lies with connecting to Palestinian Authority leaders who cut off diplomatic ties after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

"We see this as Israel is a special country," Kushner said. "It's the only democracy in the region. It's America's strongest ally."

And as its strongest ally – their security in the deal is a top priority. 

"I don't think anyone will question if we do ask Israel to make compromises in our proposal that we're going to ask them to do things that would put them at risk security wise," the president's adviser said.  "I don't think the president would take decisions himself that he would think would put America and the people who he represents at risk and wouldn't expect another leader to do that."

Kushner says the plan offers the Palestinians positive business solutions with economic incentives. 

"When we looked at the Palestinians, we said well what are the opportunities that they can have," he added. "What's been holding them back economically?"

We'll get to see the full scope of the proposal soon.  The plan is set to be released following the conclusion of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, which ends in early June.
 

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