Jared Kushner made unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia

PHOTO: Jared Kushner is seen at the Royal Court after US President Donald Trump received the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 20, 2017.PlayMandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
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President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner recently traveled to Saudi Arabia, a senior White House official confirmed. The trip was not announced ahead of time.

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On his third trip to Saudi Arabia this year, Kushner, whose White House portfolio includes the Middle East, left the U.S. on Wednesday and returned Saturday. Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, the administration's Middle East envoy, accompanied him in Saudi Arabia. Greenblatt also traveled to Cairo, Amman, Jerusalem and Ramallah.

"The Senior Adviser to the President, the Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy, and the Special Representative for International Negotiations recently returned from Saudi Arabia," a senior White House official said. "The Senior Adviser has also been in frequent contact with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia."

The White House official would not say whom Kushner met with while in Saudi Arabia, but reaffirmed the president's desire to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

"While these regional talks will play an important role, the President reaffirms that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties and that the United States will continue working closely with the parties to make progress toward that goal," he said. "No deal will be imposed on Israelis and Palestinians; We are committed to facilitating a deal that improves conditions for both parties."

Kushner has made several trips to the Middle East since joining the administration. Prior to this week, Kushner's most recent trip occurred in August when he met separately with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.