Egyptian President said set to present Trump with Mideast peace plan – Photos


Eyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II will reportedly present US President Donald Trump with a framework to an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal during their visits to the White House this week.

Based on a two-state solution, the framework aims to establish a basis for fresh peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, according to Israel Radio citing a Gulf media outlet on Monday.

According to the report, the initiative would start with a series of gestures, including a long-delayed release of Palestinian prisoners and a complete stop to all Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.

The Dubai-based al-Khaleej Times said Trump would respond to the Jordanian-Egyptian initiative during his meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas tentatively scheduled for later this month in Washington.

It said the Trump administration aims to host an international peace conference on the Israeli-Palestinian issue in September.

However, it is unlikely that Israel would agree to such moves, particularly the settlement freeze. Recent talks with the Trump administration failed to produce a formal agreement on limited building, leaving the Netanyahu government vowing to build, but with restraint, in order not to antagonize Trump.

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Abbas, Abdullah and Sissi met on the sidelines of the 28th Arab League Summit in Jordan last week to coordinate positions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue ahead of their respective visits with Trump.

Sissi is slated to meet with Trump later on Monday and Abdullah will meet with Trump on Thursday.

Abbas is expected to visit soon after, but an official date to visit the White House has not yet been announced.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said last week the meetings between Trump, Sissi and Abdullah will help determine the nature of Abbas’s visit to Washington.

Trump has yet to formulate a clear policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but has said he is eager to broker a deal. His initial comments, including a controversial campaign promise to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and suggestions that there are alternatives to a two-state solution, caused alarm among some Arab leaders.

However, an embassy move no longer appears imminent, and some Trump administration officials have since endorsed the two-state solution, while signaling they will be critical of some West Bank settlement building.

Trump held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February, and asked him to “hold back” a little on settlements. Since then Israeli ministers have approved a new settlement for the evacuees of the illegal Amona outpost, and various self-imposed curbs on future building.

Trump’s international envoy, Jason Greenblatt, attended the Arab League summit last week and held talks with Abbas and the foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt and Qatar.

Greenblatt affirmed Trump’s belief that an Israeli-Palestinian deal “is not only possible, but would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world,” the US Embassy in Jordan said. The envoy focused on making tangible progress, a statement said.

During his speech to the summit, Abbas singled out the support of Jordan and Egypt, both of which have peace treaties with Israel, as essential to the Palestinian national cause.

This may have been a rebuke to them for taking part in a secret meeting last year with Netanyahu in a summit in the Jordanian Red Sea resort of Aqaba, organized by the US without Abbas’s knowledge.

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At the opening to the summit, Abdullah said the two-state solution was the only way forward to a peace deal.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the summit signaled the Arab world is willing to engage with the Trump administration in efforts to negotiate a two-state deal. He said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a root cause of Mideast tensions, and that resolving it would boost the fight against terrorism.

The summit’s closing statement said “peace is a strategic option” for Arab states.

At the Arab League summit, the 21 leaders and top officials endorsed the 2002 Arab peace plan, which would see Arab states normalize ties with Israel in exchange for a peace deal.

In reaffirming the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, the summit undercut Israel’s proposal of a regional peace in which normalization with some Arab countries would precede a deal with the Palestinians. Abbas has vehemently opposed this idea, fearing it would further weaken Palestinian negotiating positions.

Source: timesofisrael.com

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