'Trump not constrained by old ways of thinking'

Jared Kushner says US team working on specifics to negotiate on in peace plan, hoping regional leaders willing to make peace.

Gary Willig ,

Jared Kushner at 2017 Saban Forum
Jared Kushner at 2017 Saban Forum

Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner said that Trump Administration was hopeful its new approach to the Middle East peace process would succeed in bridging the gaps between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

"I think we’ve made a lot of progress. The President’s done a very good job of not allowing the old ways of thinking to constrain his actions," Kushner said in an interview with CNN.

Kushner said that he had spoken to many people in the region and many of the negotiators during previous peace-making attempts. "What I realized very quickly was that we've been fighting about the same thing for the last 25 years in the conflict, but not a lot has changed."

"And so, what we did is we took an approach where we though we would create a very in-depth document that goes through the issues, and we thought of something much more prescriptive. I always found that with conflicts - when I was in business, when you're fighting over a concept, it's much easier to disagree than when you're fighting over specifics.

"And that's a big part of how we got to the finish line on the US MCA. We got people to really go into the granular details, and I think that we're hopeful that we can at least isolate where the disagreements really are and then see if we can make progress.

"I think that what we'll put forward will be something that people will realize there are a lot more reasons to be for it than reasons to be against it, and that there's a bigger gap between the negotiators than there is between the people.

“The situation is only getting worse,” he noted. “At some point the leaders will have to take a bold step and make compromise. We hope to find leadership who is ready to do it."