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Trump Proposes Regional Peace Plan Based on Arab Initiative | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US President Donald Trump is welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential palace in Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (AFP)

Tel Aviv – US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, who arrived in the region recently, is attempting to push Palestinians and Israelis towards a new equation that will pave the way for the resumption of peace negotiations, revealed political sources in Ramallah and Tel Aviv.

Palestinian and Israeli sources said that the US project will be mainly focused on the regional peace plan based on the Arab peace initiative.

These sources said that the two sides should not search for the errors in each other’s approach, but should make their own initiatives to push the negotiations forward. On this basis, the US administration will not suffice with the measures that the Israeli government took on Sunday in regards to facilitating Palestinians’ daily lives. It instead demands Israel to restore large areas to them in order to expand the territories of the West Bank.

The maps of these plans have been presented to Israel by American officials.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied these claims, while political circles confirmed them.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also hinted that these plans had been devised, disclosing them to reporters during US President Donald Trump’s official visit to Rome.

He revealed that the president had exerted a lot of pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Netanyahu during his trip to Israel earlier this week.

He stressed to them that they should reach a settlement in order to advance the peace process.

He also reiterated Trump’s assertion that reaching Palestinian-Israeli peace will lead to peace throughout the Middle East.

The president was firm when he stressed to the two officials that they should be serious in dealing with the future negotiations and they must consent to making concessions, Tillerson added.

Media leaks on the Trump’s meetings in Israel revealed that he had pledged to Abbas to work on leading a political effort based in essence on the Arab peace initiative.

Statements by a Palestinian official on the meeting indicate that Trump is seeking a comprehensive regional plan based on the peace initiative. The US president asserted that this will not lead to the abandonment of the two-state solution, but it will call for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

At the heart of the plan, which was addressed in general terms, said the Palestinian official, was Washington’s goal to establish ties between Israel and moderate Arab Sunni countries.

At a later time, and based on how much progress is made in implementing the Arab peace initiative, the US will push for holding direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis to resolve critical disputes, such as the demarcation of the border of the Palestinian state, the fate of Israeli settlements and the right of return.