No more land grab: US trusts Israel
Kushner says ball is in Palestine court; Israeli President Rivlin invites CP to visit Jerusalem.
The Unites States will not approve Israeli annexation of the occupied West Bank, and the tripartite peace treaty to the effect will hold for some time, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Monday.
He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given assurances that "he will not move forward without our consent. And that is good enough for us".
"We do not plan to give our consent for some time. We believe that the agreement will hold," Kushner told the media during a telephonic briefing.
The landmark accord brokered by the United States, Israel and the UAE has agreed to normalise relations in exchange for Israel renouncing its plans for annexing the West Bank.
Moving forward with the peace deal, Kushner said the focus is on getting the peace deal implemented and the US wants as much interaction and cooperation between the UAE and Israel. "We want Israel to focus on creating new relationships and new alliances. They (Israelis) are very excited about the peace with the UAE and the potential for more peace that will come," he said.
The UAE is the first GCC country and the third Arab nation to establish relations with Israel in more than 70 years. Following the agreement, both the countries have opened telephone lines, and on Monday Israel's President Reuven Rivlin invited His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to visit Jerusalem.
Calling the UAE and Israel "two security powerhouses, two technology powerhouses, two economic powerhouses", Kushner said Israelis are excited about cheaper flights to Dubai and lots of Muslims are now happy that they can fly through Dubai to Tel Aviv to visit Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third-holiest site in Islam.
Hailing the treaty as a breakthrough for peace and stability in the region, he said the peace treaty has given Palestinian people hope. "The ball is in the Palestinian court," he added.
Kushner denied that the US is putting pressure on Gulf states to follow the UAE lead and establish relations with Israel. However, he said the Trump administration's vision is to accelerate the existing relationship and build trust. "We believe a lot more of the Gulf States will want to move forward with diplomatic ties with Israel."
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