As part of the US efforts to advance the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law was sent on a secret visit to Saudi Arabia- one that the White House chose to keep quiet.

Jared Kushner | Archive

Jared Kushner | Archive Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner returned on Saturday from a secret visit to Saudi Arabia, the White House has confirmed. According to Politico, the purpose of the trip was to involve Arab leaders in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Though the White House did not offer any details regarding the meetings that Kushner held, it did confirm Kushner’s visit in a statement to Politico. “The Senior Advisor to the President, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, and the Special Representative for International Negotiations recently returned from Saudi Arabia,” the statement said. “The Senior Advisor has also been in frequent contact with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.”

Kushner, who has developed something of a friendship with Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, has visited the country three times in the past year. On this visit, he was accompanied by Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and Deputy Secretary of State Dina Powell. After Saudi Arabia, Greenblatt reportedly continued on to Jordan, Ramallah and Jerusalem.

It should come as little surprise that the Trump administration, intent on solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has encouraged such close ties with the Saudi kingdom; according to Tom Barrack, a close friend and confidant to Trump, “the key to solving that dispute is Egypt. And the key to Egypt is Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.”

According to Politico, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also traveled to Riyadh last week as head of a delegation charged with combating terrorist financing.