(CNN) — White House senior adviser Jared Kushner called for unity Monday at the opening of the United States’ new embassy in Jerusalem, according to excerpts of his speech released by the White House.
“We believe, it is possible for both sides to gain more than they give — so that all people can live in peace — safe from danger, free from fear, and able to pursue their dreams.
“Jerusalem must remain a city that brings people of all faiths together,” Kushner said.
The senior adviser’s speech comes after at least 43 people were killed during clashes earlier in the day along the border fence between Israel and Gaza, the most fatalities suffered in a single day since the latest round of demonstrations began more than six weeks ago.
Kushner also praised to praise President Donald Trump’s efforts to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
“While presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American Embassy once they were in office, this President delivered. Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it,” Kushner stated.
Kushner, who is also the President’s son-in-law, has been leading efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal, though any accord would be colored by the administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and decision to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.
During his speech, Kushner also praised Israel as a country that “proves every day the boundless power of freedom.”
“This land is the only land in the Middle East in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths participate and worship freely according to their beliefs,” Kushner said. “Israel protects women’s rights, freedom of speech, and the right of every individual to reach their God-given potential.”
Kushner also remarked on Iran, calling it “flawed” and “one-sided” less than a week after Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
“Iran’s aggression threatens the many peace-loving citizens throughout the region and the world,” Kushner said. “From Israel to Jordan to Egypt to Saudi Arabia and beyond, many leaders are fighting to modernize their countries and create better lives for their people. In confronting common threats, and in pursuit of common interests, previously unimaginable opportunities and alliances are starting to emerge.”
Kushner criticized recent protests, saying that “those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.”
US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, White House senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump, and special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt attended the ceremony as part of the US delegation.