Jun 16, 2019

Political part of Trump's Middle East peace plan might be delayed until November

Photo: Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images

The White House's special envoy for Middle East Jason Greenblatt said Sunday at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York that the Trump administration is leaning toward holding off on releasing the political part of its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan until November, when a new Israeli government is formed.

Why it matters: President Trump was frustrated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's inability to form a coalition in May, which forced him to call a new election. Greenblatt admitted in his comments that the political developments in Israel torpedoed the White House's timetable for the peace plan.

Details: Greenblatt said the White House wanted to release the political part of the peace plan during the summer, "but the new elections have thrown us off." He stressed that there is no decision yet on when to publish the political part of the peace plan, but added it "would make sense" to wait until a new Israeli government is formed in November.

  • Greenblatt said the administration will still be able to push forward with the peace plan in November regardless of Trump's re-election campaign, which would already be in full swing by then. "It should not be an obstacle," Greenblatt said.

The White House envoy was also asked about U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman's interview with the New York Times, in which he said Israel having the right to retain some parts of the West Bank. Greenblatt said: "David spoke elegantly and I support what he said."

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