Accessibility links

Breaking News

Senior White House Aide Kushner Plans Trip To Saudi Arabia, Qatar Amid Iran Tensions


Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner is to travel to Saudi Arabia and Qatar amid rising tensions in the Middle East.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will travel to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week amid rising tensions following the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist near Tehran by unknown attackers.

A White House official said on November 29 that Kushner is to meet separately with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi city of Neom and with the emir of Qatar in that small Persian Gulf nation.

The statement said Kushner -- who is also President Donald Trump’s son-in-law -- will be accompanied by Middle East envoys Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook. Adam Boehler, chief of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, will join them.

Kushner and his team have been instrumental in negotiating normalization deals between Israel and Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), and Sudan since the start of the summer.

U.S. administration officials said the team is attempting to reach further such deals before Trump’s term is set to end on January 20, 2021.

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia is a bitter rival of Shi’ite-led Iran as two nations battle for influence in the Middle East.

Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in an ambush near Tehran on November 27, in a brazen attack that threatens to escalate tensions between Iran and the United States and its close ally Israel.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani on November 28 accused Israel of acting as a “mercenary” for the United States in connection with the assassination. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which many saw as an attempt to slow Iran's progress toward developing nuclear weapons.

With reporting by Reuters and Axios
  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL

    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

XS
SM
MD
LG