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US’ Kushner backs Netanyahu-Gantz unity government

Leader of the Blue and White political alliance, former chief of staff of the Israeli army, Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv, 15 September 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]
Leader of the Blue and White political alliance, former chief of staff of the Israeli army, Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv, 15 September 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

Jared Kushner, adviser to and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, has told Israeli television that he hopes to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chair Benny Gantz form a new coalition government, reported Axios. 

Kushner met separately and privately with the two men on Monday, later telling Channel 13 News that “they [Gantz and Netanyahu] are the experts on how to put this together and hopefully they will be able to find a way to do that”.

“You have a different sentiment in the region of countries that want to do a lot of business with Israel economically,” Kushner added, “so it will be great for Israel to figure out how to form a government so we can start working on all the big priorities and opportunities that exist.”

“There is a lot of desire to do military partnerships with Israel, but you need to have a government in order to seize some of those opportunities that I believe exist today.”

READ: Netanyahu rival Gantz accepts mandate to try to form Israeli government

By “opportunities”, Axios reported, Kushner clarified that “he was referring to the long-awaited Trump administration Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and the possibility of a breakthrough in relations between Israel and Arab countries like Saudi Arabia”.

The meeting between Gantz and Kushner was the first of its kind, and the White House adviser described the Blue and White leader as having done a “great job” as head of the military.

“Benny was a great general…and served Israel tremendously, and he seems to have a good intention to try and bring good to Israel, and hopefully he will be able to work with Prime Minister Netanyahu and find a way to move forward,” Kushner said.

Kushner suggested that Trump could still release the “peace plan” ahead of the 2020 elections.

“We have a lot of ideas and we want to put those ideas down and hopefully use that opportunity to bring the sides together on an issue that they have been apart on for a very long time,” he said.

READ: Israel’s Netanyahu gives up effort to form new government

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Asia & AmericasIsraelIsraeli ElectionsMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS
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