** People rescuing an injured passenger from inside a passenger bus hit by a truck on Dhaka-Mawa Expressway in Shologhar area of Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj on Thursday. ** Motorcycles allowed on Padma Bridge after 10 months ** Commuters charge extra fare, passengers disappointed ** 78 people killed in Yemen stampede ** Moon sighting committee meets today to ascertain Eid day ** 9 killed in road accidents in 3 districts ** US announces new $325 m military aid package for Ukraine ** Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia today ** Eid exodus begins ** LPG price cut illusive ** 15 hurt as bus overturns in capital ** New interbank cheque clearing timings set for Eid holidays ** Four women hit by a train die in Tangail ** 12.28 lakh SIM users left Dhaka on Tuesday ** Sylhet engineer threatened over power outage ** People rush to village homes to spend Eid holidays with their near and dear ones. This photo was taken from Sadarghat Launch Terminal on Tuesday. NN photo ** Surge in cases of dehydration, diarrhoea amid summer heat wave ** Padma Bridge construction cost increases by Tk 2,412cr ** PM gives Tk 90m to Bangabazar fire victims ** Textile workers block highway demanding wage, Eid bonus ** Attack on PM's motorcade Ex-BNP MP, 3 others get life term ** Load-shedding increases for demand of electricity during heat wave ** Motorbikes to be allowed on Padma bridge from Thursday ** 5-day Eid vacation begins from today ** Take Nangalkot train accident as a warning about negligence of govt functionaries **

Kushner visits Middle East to press US peace plan

30 May 2019 AFP, Washington
Kushner visits Middle East to press US peace plan

White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner arrives to hear the US president speak on immigration proposals in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC.

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is visiting the Middle East, the White House said Tuesday, signaling a fresh push on a long promised but yet to be delivered peace plan for the region.
The trip comes amid a flurry of other administration moves to shore up alliances with Arab allies against Iran and the deployment of warships and bombers to the region.
Kushner is accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special representative for international negotiations, and Brian Hook, the special US representative for Iran, the White House said.
They "will travel from May 27 to May 31 to Rabat, Amman and Jerusalem," a White House official said on condition of anonymity.
The pair shared an iftar dinner-the traditional meal to break the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan-with Morocco's King Mohammed VI, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
"Thank you to His Majesty for a special evening and for sharing your wisdom," Greenblatt tweeted. "Morocco is an important friend & ally of the United States."
The Trump administration is expected to unveil the peace plan-after numerous failures by its predecessors-possibly as early as next month, but the Palestinians have already rejected it as heavily biased in favor of Israel.
Washington has yet to commit to an exact timetable with respect to the political aspects of the plan.
Kushner is the chief architect of the proposals and Greenblatt, a longtime Trump lawyer, has served as his right-hand man on the Middle East initiative.
Upon his arrival in the White House more than two years ago, Trump proclaimed his ambition to secure a final accord ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the odds of his succeeding where every previous US president-Republicans as well as Democrats-have failed appear particularly low.
Palestinians have boycotted the process since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.
The US is expected to roll out the economic aspects of the peace plan at a conference in Bahrain on June 25-26. Co-hosts US and Bahrain have billed it as "a pivotal opportunity... to share ideas, discuss strategies and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement."
But Palestinian political leaders say they will boycott it and Palestinian business leaders said they won't go either, raising further questions about the plan's viability.
"Any economic project without a political solution is selling an illusion," said Arafat Asfour, chairman of the Palestine Trade Center.
Among those declining an invitation was Bashar al-Masri, a high-profile Palestinian businessman who worked with international partners and in cooperation with the Israelis to invest $1.4 billion in the new Palestinian town of Rawabi.
Kushner, who will join up with Trump in London after going to the Middle East, has been evasive about the US plan, which has been shrouded in secrecy.
While promising new ideas to revive a moribund peace process, he has refused to talk about a two-state solution, the formula that has long been at the heart of international efforts to achieve peace and also the official US position.
Instead, he has looked to an alliance with the Saudis against Iran as a way to gain Arab support for his plan.
Three days before Kushner's trip, Trump authorized $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, bypassing Congress.
Arms sales to the kingdom were frozen after the assassination of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in October and in response to mounting concerns over the human toll of a Saudi-led armed campaign in Yemen.
But the administration defended the sales as necessary "to deter Iranian aggression and build partner self-defense capacity."

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