22:11 GMT04 April 2020
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    2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has been a vociferous critic of Donald Trump’s family in the White House. At present, he’s also at the centre of a controversy surrounding his son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine while the elder Biden was a policy adviser on Ukraine in the Obama administration,

    Former US Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with CBS News that he didn't think Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner should be involved in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, while raising doubts about the White House senior advisor’s qualifications and “credentials” in the process.

    When replying to a question by Norah O’Donnel during the show “60 minutes” about whether Kushner should be involved in negotiating a Middle East peace settlement, the Democratic presidential hopeful decisively replied “no” and laughed.

    “What credentials does he bring to that?” Biden added.

    The Democratic presidential candidate also said during the interview that it was “improper” for the US president’s children to hold offices in the White House, while referring to Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, arguing that they knew “nothing” about the things they were dealing with.

    “It's just simply improper because you should make it clear to the American public that everything you're doing is for them. For them. And the idea that you're gonna have his children his-- son-in-law, et cetera, engaged in the day-to-day operation of things they know nothing about", the presidential candidate said, as quoted by CBS.

    The former VP, who is still at the centre of a controversy following Donald Trump’s criticism of his son Hunter’s involvement in Chinese and Ukrainian companies while the elder Biden held an advisory position to Ukraine during the Obama administration, also added that his children were “not going to have offices in the White House” if he was elected the next US president.

    Joe Biden’s remarks were followed by numerous reactions by social media users who did not miss the opportunity to pick up on the former vice president’s lack of action in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, as well as his son’s activity in Ukraine during Biden’s time in office.

    Hunter Biden’s Role in Ukraine

    Joe Biden’s alleged hypocrisy towards Trump’s children was spotted following his son’s recent public acknowledgment of “poor judgment” in taking a paid position in Ukrainian gas company Burisma in 2014, while his father was leading policy on Ukraine during the Obama administration. He has also recently stepped down from the board of a Chinese private equity fund, BHR, following Donald Trump’s claims of his involvement in corruption in the country.

    Hunter Biden has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and any discussions of his foreign work with his father, however it was previously reported that in 2016, Joe Biden had publicly demanded that Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin be dismissed following his investigation into Burisma's alleged illegal activities, threatening to withhold US financial aid to the Ukrainian government if the prosecutor retained his post.

    The issue has been at the centre of an impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats against Donald Trump on 24 September, after a complaint was issued by a whistleblower who claimed that during a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July, the US president allegedly attempted to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Both Trump and Zelensky denied any pressure being made during their phone conversation.

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden attend an NCAA basketball game between Georgetown University and Duke University in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2010.
    © REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden attend an NCAA basketball game between Georgetown University and Duke University in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2010.

    Trump Son-in-Law’s Role in Middle East Peace Process

    Jared Kushner is currently one of the leading figures in brokering a peace deal in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He previously travelled to the Middle East to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in August 2017.

    Kushner has also been responsible for drafting Trump's peace plan, the economic part of which was released at a US-led conference in June this year, revealing that a $50 billion investment package would be allocated to the Palestinians and the region as a whole. The political part of the plan still remains unknown, as its release has repeatedly been delayed and hindered by Jerusalem’s recent failure to form a government.

    Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been engaged in a military and political conflict since the middle of the 20th century, with the recent round of peace negotiations being suspended in 2014. Israel has refused to recognise the Palestinian Authority as an independent political entity, while the Palestinians have repeatedly criticised Israel for its settlement activities in the West Bank.

    Hunter Biden, impeachment, Palestine, Israel, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Joe Biden
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