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Jared Kushner's firm received hundreds of millions from UAE, Qatar, says report

Affinity Partners received $200m from UAE wealth fund, and similar amount from Qatari entity, according to The New York Times
Jared Kushner gestures as he attends the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on 25 October 2022.
Jared Kushner gestures as he attends the annual Future Investment Initiative conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on 25 October 2022 (AFP)

Jared Kushner's private equity firm has received hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, according to a report by The New York Times, following a previous investment of $2bn from Saudi Arabia for the venture launched soon after former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law left the White House.

The report on Thursday stated that a sovereign wealth fund in the UAE invested more than $200m in Affinity Partners, while an unnamed Qatari entity invested a similar amount. MEE reached out to the Emirati and Qatari embassies in Washington for comment but did not receive a response.

The reported investments appear to show the continued efforts of Kushner and other senior members of the former Trump administration in profiting from the close ties they built to the Middle East during his presidency.

Kushner developed a close relationship with several senior figures throughout the Middle East, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known by his initials MBS, with whom he has been engaging with for years through emails, text messages, and other forms of contact, according to a previous report by The New York Times.

During his time in the Trump administration, the Saudi royal family gifted him two swords and a dagger worth nearly $48,000, for which he ended up paying the US government after leaving office.

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In 2021, he founded the Abraham Accords Institute for Peace, which will focus on boosting trade and tourism between the four Arab states and Israel.

Six months after leaving the Trump administration, Kushner secured a $2bn investment from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The investment came despite objections from the Saudi Public Investment Fund's advisors, who noted the "inexperience" of the fund's management.

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But despite these relationships built by Kushner, Emirati and Qatari officials were at first reluctant to invest in his private equity fund, in part because of the political risks associated with the investments, people familiar with both governments' internal deliberations told The New York Times.

Former US officials have for years used their status in the government to sign lucrative contracts with Gulf nations. Some US lawmakers have criticised this, but there are few laws to put an end to it.

In October 2022, two investigations by the Washington Post found that hundreds of retired American military officers used their military backgrounds to ink lucrative deals working for foreign countries, mostly among the Gulf monarchies like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. At least 280 military retirees sought authorisation to work for the UAE, either as military contractors or consultants.

In June of that same year, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform launched a probe into Kushner's business dealings in the Middle East.

In a letter, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney requested documents on the $2bn investment from Saudi Arabia in Affinity Partners.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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