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Kushner in Bahrain: Mideast normalization possible if right opportunities provided

i24NEWS

3 min read
In this Tuesday, June 25, 2019, photo released by Bahrain News Agency, Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, sixth from left, listen to White House senior adviser Jared Kushner during the "Peace to Prosperity" workshop in Manama, Bahrain.
Bahrain News Agency via AP 2019 ©In this Tuesday, June 25, 2019, photo released by Bahrain News Agency, Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, sixth from left, listen to White House senior adviser Jared Kushner during the "Peace to Prosperity" workshop in Manama, Bahrain.

Kushner: Israel-Arab normalization is in the best interests of Mideast states' security and economy

White House adviser Jared Kushner said Wednesday that normalization between Israel and Arab countries is in everyone's interests as Middle Eastern states can benefit economically by joining together against their "biggest threat" Iran. 

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) earlier on Wednesday slammed the US-led "Peace to Prosperity" conference as an attempt to sell a "mirage of economic prosperity” to the Palestinians that will only perpetuate their "captivity" while serving as a "cover" for Arab normalization with Israel. 

Asked by i24NEWS’ Nurit Ben if the White House saw the event as a sign of normalization between Israel and the Gulf states, Kushner said he believed countries in the Middle East are starting to realize that there are also significant economic benefits that can be achieved through normalizing. 

“I think you're seeing a situation in the Middle East where there are a lot of interests aligning between non-traditional allies,” the US president's senior adviser and son-in-law told a press conference as the Bahrain summit drew to a close on Wednesday evening. 

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“If you think about the priorities of these countries, I think they're mostly the same; Number one is to keep their citizens secure. Number two is to make their economies more prosperous. I don’t think anyone in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or UAE or Israel think that coming together and normalizing relations will not make their citizens more secure."

"They can have an alliance against their biggest threat-- which is Iran-- and it [can also] make their citizens more prosperous by integrating their economies.”

“I think it's in everyone's interests to [normalize relations] and I think over time people tend to follow their interests if the right opportunities are provided.”

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Text and editing by digital editor Mary McAuliffe.