By James Reinl
UNITED NATIONS (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner briefed the UN Security Council on Thursday about his controversial plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Kushner met with ambassadors from the 15-nation body for a private, hour-long lunchtime conversation at the U.S. mission to the world body across the street from UN headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
After the closed-door talks, Marc Pecsteen, the permanent representative of Belgium to the UN, whose country currently holds the council’s rotating monthlong presidency, told reporters he would not “go into details” about the session.
“It was a good exchange of views, questions about the plan, explanations, clarifications. It was a useful meeting,” said Pecsteen.
“Our American colleagues told us this would not be the last one. We could have more exchanges like that in the future.”
Also speaking Thursday, France’s UN ambassador Nicolas de Riviere signaled that Paris was unwilling to drop the long-established principles of Middle East peace-making from which Kushner’s plan deviates.
“I think the French position is crystal clear, it remains the same,” said de Riviere.
“We support the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states. We are supporting this position because we strongly believe that this is the only pragmatic way to resolve the issue.”
Trump unveiled his long-awaited plan for Middle East peace at the White House on Jan. 28, standing beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but with no Palestinian envoy present.
Palestinians say the plan denies them the long-held goal of establishing their own country, while many Israelis applaud Trump's decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley.
The proposal makes other concessions to Israel, including the creation of a Palestinian capital in Abu Dis, a suburb to the east of Jerusalem. The Palestinians have long sought the whole of East Jerusalem and to control territories that have been held by Israel since a war in 1967.