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Kushner to meet Jordanian king in bid to bolster support for deal of the century

Trump's son-in-law and right-hand man to head a delegation travelling to Morocco, Jordan and Israel ahead of Bahrain conference
Palestinian Authority officials have said they would not be attending the economic conference in Manama (Reuters)

Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is to travel to Jordan, Morocco and Israel this week in an attempt to drum up support for the economic part of the US president's Middle East peace plan.

Kushner, who has been the face of Trump's "deal of the century", is expected to meet Jordan's King Abdullah II on Wednesday and discuss the upcoming conference on the Palestinian economy in Bahrain next month, according to Israeli media.

A White House official confirmed that Kushner will be accompanied by Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and US special representative Avi Berkowitz. 

Before heading to Amman, Kushner's delegation will head to Rabat, from where they will travel to Jordan and Jerusalem.

The Bahrain summit, slated for 25-26 June, is set to see the first elements of Trump's plan released and discussed publicly, and is to concentrate on economic incentives offered to the Palestinians.

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It is highly controversial, however, with critics accusing the White House of taking an overtly pro-Israel line and attempting to buy off the Palestinians.

Amman has not confirmed whether it will be participating in the economic conference, though the cash-strapped kingdom is under huge pressure to do so.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has said it would boycott the event in Manama. Leading Palestinian businessmen also said on Tuesday they would boycott the conference.  

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, however, have said they will be attending. 

China and Russia, meanwhile, are not planning to send representatives, according to a senior PA official. 

Jordan has historically been a key diplomatic partner in previous Palestinian peace efforts and is the custodian of Islam's holy sites in Jerusalem. 

Trump's plan intends to encourage investment in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip before grappling with thorny political issues at the heart of the conflict

The participants in the conference in Manama are expected to include 300 to 400 representatives and business executives from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and possibly some Palestinian business leaders.

A source familiar with the planning told the Reuters news agency it appeared Egypt, Jordan and Oman, as well as the G7 countries, would be sending representatives to the conference.

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