The Trump administration’s senior envoy to the Middle East, Jared Kushner said that the United States will soon present its own peace plan for the Middle East after meeting with regional leaders.
He also slammed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for refusing to meet with him during the recent talks.
Kushner’s comments were published in the Sunday edition of the Arabic-language Al-Quds newspaper. Kushner has spent the week discussing the plan with leaders from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.
Kushner did call on Abbas to join the talks: “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.”
“However, I do question how much President Abbas has the ability to, or is willing to, lean into finishing a deal. He
has his talking points which have not changed in the last 25 years,” Kushner added.
Abbas has refused to meet with US officials following Trump’s decision last year to officially recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and relocate the US Embassy there. The US relocated its embassy to Jerusalem and opened it in May.
Palestinian leaders say the move confirms their long-held suspicions that the US is not an honest broker in the on-again, off-again peace talks, but is allied with Israel.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat criticized Kushner’s effort on Saturday and accused him of trying to topple the Abbas-led government, which presides over the West Bank.
Erekat also slammed the Trump administration for trying to dismantle the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees. The negotiator doubled down on his criticism Sunday during an interview on Israeli television, saying the Washington negotiators were “not neutral” and predicting the US plan would fail.
Arab leaders want a two-state solution, but the Palestinians insist on having the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem completely under their control. But beyond that, the peace plan will ultimately fail as long as one side claims the other doesn’t have a right to exist.
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