NEW YORK (VINnews) – Jared Kushner is helping to funnel Saudi money into Israeli businesses.
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According to the Wall St. Journal, Saudi Arabia plans to invest millions of dollars in Israeli tech companies through Mr. Kushner’s new private equity firm, Affinity Partners.
Mr. Kushner set up the company several months ago, raising $3 billion in pledges from multiple sources, including the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. Part of his pitch for Israeli tech companies was offering investors a chance to be part of the “Silicon Valley of the Middle East.”
According to a report, Saudi advisers were initially reluctant to contribute to Mr Kushner’s fund, but Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) stepped in and blocked the investment. Mr. Kushner and MBS worked closely on diplomatic issues and arms deals during President Trump’s years in the White House.
One of Mr. Kushner’s many great accomplishments during Trump’s presidency was brokering peace agreements known as the “Abraham Accords” between Israel and many of its Arab enemies.
Much of his focus when crafting Trump’s Middle East policy was on peace nurtured by investment and economic development.
In an interview, Kushner said he sees his investment plans as an extension of his work to advance relations between Israel and Arab states, which for years have refused to normalize relations with Israel without the establishment of a Palestinian state.
“If we can get Israelis and Muslims in the region to do business together, it will focus people on common interests and shared values,” he said. “We have launched historic regional change that must be strengthened and nurtured to realize its potential.”
It was also reported that Kushner plans to open an office in Israel to promote trade relations between Israel, India, the Gulf states and North Africa.