Palestinian President Abbas met with White House senior advisor Kushner in Ramallah in June 2019. File picture: Thaer Ghanaim/PPO/Handout via Reuters

Washington - US President Donald Trump is "very fond" of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is willing to engage him on the US peace proposal at the right time, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday.

Kushner, briefing reporters on a conference call, also hinted the US peace plan might call on Palestinian refugees to permanently settle where they are rather than return to lands now in Israel.

At a workshop in Bahrain last week, Kushner unveiled a $50 billion economic plan for the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon.

Sometime later this year, he is to outline a 50- to 60-page page plan that will offer proposals on resolving the thorny political issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Palestinians have harshly criticized the economic plan.

"Our door is always open to the Palestinian leadership," Kushner said.

He said he believes Abbas wants peace but "certain people around him are very uncomfortable with the way we’ve approached this and their natural reaction is to attack and say crazy things" that are not constructive. 

Reuters