Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

US Middle East envoy: we won’t release Palestinian peace plan before Israel elections

Envoy contradicts US President Donald Trump's statements on Monday

Jason Greenblatt, White House Middle East Envoy, is reportedly leaving his role after two years crafting a plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Shutterstock
Jason Greenblatt, White House Middle East Envoy, is reportedly leaving his role after two years crafting a plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Shutterstock

The US does not plan to release the political part of the long-delayed Palestinian-Israeli peace plan before the Israeli elections, White House Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt said on Wednesday.

“We have decided that we will not be releasing the peace vision or parts of it prior to the Israeli election,” Mr Greenblatt tweeted.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said the plan might be revealed before the Israeli snap elections, which are due to take place on September 17.

The leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of Mr Trump, is at stake in the September elections.

Mr Trump’s Middle East team, including senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, had wanted to reveal the plan in the summer, but Mr Netanyahu’s failure to put together a governing coalition after April elections prompted a delay.

In June, the White House announced the economic portion of the peace plan and sought support for it at a conference of global finance ministers in Bahrain.

But representatives from the two countries that will be affected by the policy outcomes were not present.

Palestinian business leaders and officials boycotted the workshop, which was designed to encourage investment in the territories. The Israelis weren't invited to the conference.

Property developers, billionaire entrepreneurs, and teenage influencers from the Arab world attended.

The US proposed a $50 billion (Dh183.65bn) Middle East economic plan that would create a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab state economies.

It also proposed a $5bn transport corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza.

But Gulf leaders have been sceptical of the plan, wanting to see details before signing on.

Updated: August 29, 2019 11:41 AM

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