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Top US officials meet with Jordan king over Middle East 'peace plan'

US plan, developed by Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, will reportedly be unveiled after Israel's elections
Kushner said peace plan 'will be very detailed, very in-depth' (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, senior White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and envoy Jason Greenblatt discussed Middle East peace prospects with Jordan's King Abdullah in Washington, an American source familiar with the meeting said.

The 45-minute meeting took place at the Jordanian ambassador's residence in Washington, the source told Reuters news agency.

Kushner and Greenblatt returned recently from a tour of Gulf nations during which they sought support from Arab leaders on the economic portion of a Middle East peace proposal that US President Donald Trump is expected to unveil in coming months.

That trip, however, did not include a stop in Jordan.

The two US officials met with leaders in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman earlier this week and held talks with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

The release of the Trump peace plan has repeatedly been delayed. The current thinking among White House officials is that the plan will be unveiled sometime after Israel holds elections on 9 April that will decide the fate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In an interview with Sky TV Arabia, Kushner said the plan “will be very detailed, very in-depth” both politically and economically and it will centre on four objectives: “freedom, respect, opportunity and security”.

He said the political plan involves a desire “to eliminate the borders”, which may indicate that the US plan aims for a one-state solution.

Last June, Palestine’s top negotiator told Middle East Eye that the US plan would "normalise apartheid”.

"If there's any plan, this is being implemented on the ground - moving the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem, withdrawing support for the two-state solution, cutting funds to UNRWA and eventually, trying to normalise Israeli apartheid in Palestine," Saeb Erekat said.

King Abdullah also met Vice President Mike Pence on Monday.

Pence's office said he and the king discussed the fight against Islamic State (IS) group militants and Trump's decision to maintain a residual US presence in Syria.

The king is to meet lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, including a coffee with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The king also met on Monday with acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan to discuss military and defence cooperation between Jordan and the United States.

"The meeting covered the latest developments in the Middle East, efforts to reach political solutions to regional crises, and efforts to fight terrorism within a holistic approach and Jordanian-US cooperation in this regard," the Jordanian embassy said in a statement.

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