Aug 26, 2019

Trump says he may present Middle East peace plan before Israeli elections

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said Monday during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on the sidelines of the G7 in Biarritz, France, that he may present his long awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan before Israel's Sept. 17 elections.

Why it matters: The Palestinian issue is politically explosive in Israel. Before the April elections, Trump decided to postpone the release of his peace plan until a new Israeli government could be put in place, but today's comments show he might act differently this time.

  • April's elections saw Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fail to form a coalition.
  • If Trump releases the plan — or even just parts of it — before the September elections it could have a big influence on the results of the elections and the formation of the next coalition.
  • For example, if Trump releases only the parts that are favorable to Israel, Netanyahu could claim it as his achievement and use it to boost his election campaign.

What he's saying: Trump told reporters at the beginning of his meeting with Sisi that the White House's efforts to push forward the peace plan "got complicated" by the political crisis in Israel and the fact that Netanyahu could not form a new government.

  • The president added, "We’re going to know who the prime minister is going to be fairly soon. [A deal] won’t be before the election, I don’t think. ... But I think you may see what the deal is before the election."
  • He also said that he thinks the Israelis and Palestinians want to make a deal and added that the Palestinians would like to make a deal because of his decision to cut U.S. funding, saying, "I think they’d like to get it back."

Go deeper: Netanyahu wary of West Bank-Gaza corridor in Trump peace plan

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