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June 29, 2018 9:39 am

Trump Mideast Envoys Have Low Expectations From Peace Plan

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From left: US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Special Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, White House adviser Jared Kushner, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, meeting in Jerusalem on June 22, 2018. Photo: US Embassy in Israel. – Trump administration officials believe the likelihood of a successful rollout of its upcoming Mideast peace plan are very low, three sources told Israel Hayom.

According to the sources, during Senior Adviser to the President Jared Kushner and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt have communicated this sentiment in private conversations in the wake of their visit to the region, although there has been no confirmation from the White House as to the authenticity of this report.

The pessimistic outlook is based on the Palestinians ongoing boycott of the administration in the wake of the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

As a consequence of this realization, the two are reportedly reconsidering the proper timing for the plan’s unveiling. According to the sources who spoke to Israel Hayom, the two have said in private conversations that they are planning to revise the plan in the wake of the recent visit. The sources got the impression that a significant part of the plan will focus on economic development in the Palestinian Authority.

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The sources say that during their visit to the region, Arab leaders told the two advisers that they were opposed to a plan that would talk directly to the Palestinian people by bypassing the Palestinian leadership. Jordan’s King Abdullah was particularly against such a move and expressed this during his visit to the White House this week. Abdullah reportedly said that unveiling the plan without coordinating with the Palestinians would be a “catastrophe.”

Kushner and Greenblatt’s discussions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week were reportedly focused on humanitarian aspects and on ways to bolster the Palestinian economy rather than on the actual terms of the peace plan.

The sources told Israel Hayom that despite the hesitation, the two advisers are saying in closed circles that they would go ahead and release the plan at some point.

Kushner told the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds last week that if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas continued to boycott the US, the plan might be revealed without consulting him. “We have continued our work on the plan and on building consensus on what is realistically achievable today and what will endure for the future. If President Abbas is willing to come back to the table, we are ready to engage; if he is not, we will likely air the plan publicly,” Kushner said.

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