Trump to present long-delayed Mideast peace plan - GulfToday

Trump to present long-delayed Mideast peace plan


US President Donald Trump talks to the media personnel at White House in Washington. File photo

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will release a long-delayed plan for Mideast peace before a meeting in Washington next week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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"Probably we'll release it a little bit prior to that," the US leader told reporters travelling with him to Florida on board Air Force One, referring to the White House meeting on Tuesday.

"It's a great plan. It's a plan that really would work," he added.

An Israeli soldier gestures to female protesters in the Israeli occupied West Bank. File photo/AFP

The Palestinians, who were not invited to the White House meeting with Netanyahu, immediately rejected the US-hosted talks, as they reject the peace plan itself, which has been in the works since 2017. Its release has been delayed repeatedly.

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The economic part of the plan was shared in June and calls for $50 billion in international investment in the Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab countries over 10 years.

The Palestinians, who refuse to talk to the Trump administration since he recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reject the peace plan because it seems to bury the two-state solution that for decades has been the cornerstone of international diplomacy aimed at the two.

Trump's 'ultimate deal'

Trump came to power in 2017 promising to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace, which he labelled the "ultimate deal."

Palestinian relatives mourn over the body of Omar Al Badawi, who was killed by Israeli security forces. File photo/AFP

But he has since taken a series of decisions that outraged the Palestinians, including cutting hundreds of millions in aid and declaring that the United States no longer considered Israel's West Bank settlements illegal.

His plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is believed to revolve around encouraging massive economic investment.

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli border police in the village of Surif. File photo/AFP

After many postponements, the peace initiative was expected several months ago.

But it was delayed after September elections in Israel proved inconclusive, and it was not expected to be released until after the March 2 elections.

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