The president-elect has said he is in favor of Arab states establishing diplomatic relations with Israel not tied to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but Biden is expected to take a much tougher stance than President Donald Trump on Saudi Arabia's human rights record.
i24 News - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly flew to Saudi Arabia last Sunday in hopes of closing a normalization deal with Riyadh, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Kushner has sought various deals in the region and has developed a relationship with Saudi Arabia's divisive de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The trip also comes in the aftermath of the assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Tehran, which has roiled regional relations yet again. President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated January 20.
"In a secret meeting last weekend, Israeli and Saudi leaders failed to agree on normalizing ties after the crown prince backed away largely due to Biden's win", the Journal wrote. He will be accompanied by Trump's Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz, International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Boehler, and Brian Hook, who previously served as White House special envoy for Iran, but announced his resignation in August.
The historic meeting underlined how opposition to Tehran is bringing about a strategic realignment of countries in the Middle East. Bin Salman and Netanyahu fear Biden will adopt policies on Iran similar to those adopted during Barack Obama's US presidency which strained Washington's ties with its traditional regional allies.
U.S. officials believe enticing Saudi Arabia into a deal with Israel would prompt other Arab nations to follow suit.
The dispute between Qatar and the Saudi-led alliance has been long-simmering.
Tensions emerged between Saudi Arabia and Qatar back in 2017, as the Kingdom accused its neighbour of supporting Islamist forces in the region and maintaining contacts with Iran, with the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. Qatar denies the charges.