Kushner talks about why he wanted Trump to go to Middle East on first trip

Jared Kushner, former US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, said Friday that the Abraham Accords proved that there is “no such thing as permanent enemies.”

Kushner was speaking at the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) Priority summit being held in Miami this week.

The former senior advisor to Trump also spoke highly about Saudi Arabia and Vision 2030, launched under King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Kushner explained why he pushed Trump to make his first foreign visit to the Middle East.

Traditionally, the first trips by US presidents are to Canada, Mexico or Europe. “A lot of the traditional people we were working with were saying ‘Let’s go to Canada or Mexico and kiss the baby,’ and… do some, you know, worthless thing,” Kushner said Friday.

But on the 2016 campaign trail, the fight against ISIS was a major issue, as was the chaos in the Middle East.

Kushner said the preceding Bush and Obama administrations had “really made a big mess over there.”

After Trump agreed to make his first official visit abroad to the Middle East, Kushner said he was able to meet “a young leader of Saudi Arabia at the time,” referring to now-Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He revealed that Prince Mohammed was sending messages that he wanted to do a “big transformation.”

According to Kushner, “traditionalists” and policy planning officials told him the Saudis would never come through, and the transformations would not happen.

“And me having no [political] experience, if somebody’s telling you, they want to change, and if we agree with the change, let’s give them a shot to try to do it,” Kushner said. “And so we worked very hard on the trip, and the deliverables from it were truly historic.”

Apart from the economic and political deals signed during Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, one of the more critical agreements was to open a center to counter extremism in the country.

Kushner highlighted the counter-terror financing center, which gave the US access to the Middle East’s banking system and allowed them to “really fight money that was going to bad actors.”

Abraham Accords

Trump’s son-in-law spoke about the importance of the peace deals between Israel and several Arab neighbors, which he helped broker.

The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco normalized ties with Israel during the summer of 2020.

As a result, Kushner said, Arabs and Muslims are now able to say “nice things about Israel and Jews,” and there is a human connection between the populations.

He cited regular ties and coexistence between Christians, Muslims and Jews before World War II, saying that “it’s a beginning of the return to that time.”

Kushner added: “It just shows there’s no such thing as permanent enemies, and there’s no such thing as permanent alliances, and that anything is truly possible.”

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