Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his deputy, Avi Berkowitz, have been nominated for the Nobel peace prize for their role in negotiating four normalisation deals between Israel and Arab nations known as the “Abraham Accords”.
Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law, and Berkowitz, who was the Middle East envoy, were key figures in negotiating deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.
The two former deputies to then-President Donald Trump were nominated by American attorney Alan Dershowitz, who was eligible to do so in his capacity as a professor emeritus of Harvard Law School. Dershowitz defended Trump in his first impeachment trial last year and told the Wall Street Journal on 20 January that the Senate should dismiss the article of impeachment against the former president, as he was no longer in office.
Thousands of people, from members of parliaments worldwide to former winners, are eligible to propose candidates. Nominations, which closed on Sunday, do not imply an endorsement from the Nobel committee.
Among others nominated for the prize this year are Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, the World Health Organization and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg. All were backed by Norwegian lawmakers who have a track record of picking the winner.
The “Abraham Accords” were announced between mid-August and mid-December and were the most significant diplomatic breakthroughs in the Middle East in 25 years as the region girds for a prolonged confrontation with Iran.
Kushner said in a statement he was honoured to be nominated for the prize, which will be awarded in October.
President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to review all national security deals reached during the Trump administration, including arms packages for the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
There have been some complaints from lawmakers about the Morocco deal because to get Morocco to agree to it, the United States recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region.
Trump left office on 20 January under a cloud of controversy, potentially impacting whether the pair of aides would be awarded the prize.