Donald Trump has confirmed that his son-in-law Jared Kushner will be tasked with brokering peace between Palestine and Israel under his administration.
Last week, the president-elect officially appointed Kushner, a Jewish-American businessman and husband of Trump's daughter Ivanka, as a senior advisor in his administration. In an interview with The Times on Sunday, Trump said that Kushner would take the lead on the "Middle East peace process."
Trump called his son-in-law a "tremendous asset and trusted adviser." He had previously suggested that Kushner would head Middle East diplomacy, saying he would be "very good at it."
"He knows the region, knows the people, knows the players," Trump said in an interview.
Kushner is an Orthodox Jew and Ivanka converted before their marriage in 2009. He is the principle owner of Kushner Companies, a real estate holding and development company, and of Observer Media, which publishes the online New York Observer.
In 2004, Kushner's father, who built his family's real estate empire, was sentenced to two year's in prison for tax evasion, illegal campaign donations and witness tampering.
During Trump's campaign, Kushner was seen as a key advisor and strategist, instrumental to the president-elect's success. Many in the U.S. have expressed concerns that Kushner's prominent role in Trump's administration, along with that of Ivanka, violate anti-nepotism laws.
Trump has apparently skirted this law by having Kushner forego a salary. Ivanka has said she will not be officially involved her father's administration, but her actions since the election have suggested she will play a prominent, albeit unofficial, role.
When it comes to the Middle East, Trump's policy still remains somewhat unclear. But the president-elect has voiced support for moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that will likely increase tensions with Palestine.
Trump has also been highly critical of the United Nation's recent resolution against Israeli settlements, saying things will change once he takes office. Additionally, Trump has strongly opposed the President Barack Obama's landmark nuclear deal with Iran, vowing to rip it up once he takes over.
Regionally, Israel and Gulf countries have expressed concerns over the Iran deal as well. Saudi Arabia sees Iran as a major threat to its regional influence and Israel sees Iran as a threat to its existence.