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In this image provided by the Palestinian Press Office (PPO), Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets Jared Kushner, senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, on June 21, 2017 in Ramallah. Kushner is in the Middle East to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. (Thaer Ghanaim/PPO via Getty Images)

Jared Kushner, a close adviser to the US president, will speak on Washington's Middle East policy on Sunday as Donald Trump faces a decision on whether or not to stick to his promise to move the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

 The public intervention of Donald Trump's son-in-law, very rare, is expected from this man who has not yet revealed his plan for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process which he is supposed to relaunch.

His speech will be all the more awaited since, according to several American media, Jared Kushner would be the famous "very senior official of the presidential transition team" who asked Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's former national security adviser indicted on Friday, to contact foreign government officials.

The influential adviser will speak at the Saban Forum, a "dialogue" annual meeting between American and Israeli leaders organized in Washington by the think tank Brookings Institution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also due to address it Sunday morning via video message.

The American president promised during his campaign to move the embassy to Jerusalem, as stipulated in a law of Congress passed in 1995 but whose application has been blocked every six months, for two decades, by successive American presidents thanks to a derogation clause.

The next deadline comes on Monday, according to the State Department, which reaffirmed to AFP on Friday that no decision had yet been made. On Wednesday, the White House ruled "premature" reports that Washington is preparing to announce the transfer to Jerusalem, a decision likely to anger the Palestinians and the Arab world.

In June, Donald Trump had chosen for the first time to follow the example of his predecessors. "I want to give it a chance" to the peace process "before thinking about moving the embassy to Jerusalem", he justified recently.

But its vice-president Mike Pence, who will go to Jerusalem in mid-December, reiterated this week that the transfer was " seriously " considered.

The international community has never recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, nor the annexation of its eastern part conquered in 1967, so that foreign embassies are based in Tel Aviv. The Palestinians, for their part, believe that East Jerusalem should be the capital of the state to which they aspire.

Beyond this thorny question, Jared Kushner received from his father-in-law the immense task of reviving a stalled peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. Donald Trump aims to succeed where all his predecessors have failed.

RB with AFP

Source: © American policy in the Middle East: the expected speech of Jared Kushner

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