Trump to unveil M-E peace plan on Jan 28

Washington: US President Donald Trump has announced that he would unveil his long-awaited Middle East plan on January 28 in the White House during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday, Trump said he would unveil the plan before his one-on-one meeting with Netanyahu, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Sometime prior to that,” Trump said. “Probably we’ll release it a little bit prior to that.”

Trump said that thePalestinians might react negatively to the plan at first, but that “it’s actually very positive for them”.

The White House earlier in the day said Netanyahu’s visit “is an opportunity to discuss our shared regional and national security interests”.

Benjamin Gantz, chairman of Israeli political alliance Blue and White and elections rival of Netanyahu, also accepted Trump’s invitation to come to Washington, it added.

The unveiling of the plan was also confirmed by US Vice President Mike Pence in a joint statement ahead of his meeting with Netanyahu at the US embassy in Jerusalem on Thursday.

US media reports said that the long-awaited Middle East peace plan might be a political boost for Trump and Netanyahu.

Trump has postponed several times the publication of his “Deal of the Century” for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The economic portion of Trump’s peace plan was unveiled during a US-led conference in Bahrain last June, a convention boycotted by the Palestinians.

The Trump administration has reversed decades of US policy regarding the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Political ties between Palestine and the US were severed immediately after Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017 and moved the American embassy to the city in 2018.

In November 2019, Washington announced that it would no longer consider Israel’s West Bank settlements “inconsistent” with international law, a move which further dimmed the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The last round of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians broke down in 2014 amid the former’s expansion of the settlements in the West Bank.

Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War and has since controlled or blockaded them despite international criticism.

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