Trump Advisors Secretly Met with King Abdullah on Massive Nuclear Power Deal: US Media

تم نشره في Sat 16 September / Sep 2017. 12:00 AM
  • His Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan - (Getty Images)

CAPITALS —AlGhad— On January 5th, 2017, US officials Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, and Steve Bannon met with His Majesty King Abdullah II at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, USA, along with six unidentified individuals, according to US news media Buzzfeed.

His Majesty and the US officials then left the hotel to an unannounced location to continue an undisclosed meet with Trump’s then soon-to-be national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was reportedly pushing a multibillion-dollar deal to build nuclear reactors in Jordan and other Middle East nations.

Whereas the meeting’s details were never disclosed, it is thought to be the latest in a series of secret, high-stakes contacts between Trump advisors and foreign governments, which have raised many concerns.

Flynn and senior advisor Jared Kushner handled their personal business interests suspiciously as they entered key positions of power, US media says.

Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner - (AFP/Getty Images)

Aside many domestic concerns, one major question is the expansion of nuclear technology “in a tinderbox region of the world”, as Buzzfeed described it.

On the one hand, sources close to the three Trump advisors say that the nuclear deal was not discussed in the meeting.

However, on the other, one federal official did confirm to Buzzfeed that the nuclear proposal, known as the Marshall Plan, was indeed discussed. He claims to have access to a document created by a law enforcement agency on the secret meeting, indicating the Plan was one of the topics the group talked about.

Moreover, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Flynn’s White House disclosure forms state that he hasn’t been working on the deal since December 2016. Nonetheless, he has in fact continued to push it even after he entered the White House, WSJ has said, discretely.

When asked about WSJ claims, Flynn’s lawyer declined to comment.

To the US, “the meeting with the King of Jordan had extremely high stakes: a discussion with the head of a key American ally that might have included plans about spreading nuclear power to one of the world's least stable regions, possibly with the help of one of America's main geopolitical enemies, Russia.”

As for Jordan, Buzzfeed claims to have attempted to contact officials at the Jordanian embassy in the US, and say they “did not return multiple calls seeking comment”.

The only known public acknowledgement that the King was not in Jordan at the time is a short note on His website, saying: “His Majesty King Abdullah on Saturday arrived back home after a private visit abroad” Buzzfeed underscored.

Meanwhile, an eyewitness to the US media, who saw Trump’s advisors that morning at the Four Seasons, and had a brief exchange with Bannon, said at least half a dozen other people were with them.

Notably too, the revelation of the meeting comes as King Abdullah plans to visit the US next week and speak with Trump.

According to Buzzfeed, the plan, for which Flynn was reportedly paid as a consultant, initially envisioned that the reactors would be built by US companies, while security would be provided by the Russian state-owned firm Rosoboron.

Surprisingly, Rosoboron is an arms exporter currently facing US sanctions.

But, as the plan evolved, Russian involvement reportedly lessened, and it is not known whether Russia or its companies featured in the meeting with King Abdullah.

Nuclear plants were to be built in Jordan, Saudia Arabia, and three other countries in the region.

In April, 2016, the Democratic lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee released several related emails, involving Jordanian officials.

According to Buzzfeed, the head of the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), Maj Gen Omar Khaldi, was cop saying the plan was designed to solidify the region “under a security construct” that would be led “by two superpowers.”

Earlier too, Democratic members of the Committee said they would turn over documents about the nuclear plan to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

These documents contend that Flynn may have violated federal law by not disclosing foreign trips and meetings, Buzzfeed says.

“While it is not unusual for an incoming administration to meet with foreign dignitaries during the transition, Trump surrogates have repeatedly failed to acknowledge these contacts” the news media explained.

According to the CNN, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, visited with Flynn, Kushner, and Bannon, who also failed that time to alert the US government beforehand.

Kushner initially failed to disclose any meetings with foreign officials on his security clearance form. He later amended the document to include more than 100 foreign contacts, including the King.

In order for the plan to move forward, a preface deal known as the “123 Agreement” must be ratified by Congress, similar to ones signed recently with India and UAE.

The “Agreement” requires countries sharing American nuclear technology and fuel to take steps to prevent them from being used in weapons.

At this point, the US has similar agreements in place with two other Arab nations, Egypt and Morocco.

“Proponents have said the plan could bring new security to the region, by bringing disparate countries together in a shared project under American guidance. But critics believe the deal could provide nations that do not currently have nuclear weapons with the raw materials to make them” Buzzfeed sums it all up.

In the original proposal, American companies would have joined a consortium including the Saudi government and Russia to build 40 nuclear power plants in the region.

The deal ultimately fizzled.