US Says Middle East Peace Plan to Be Unveiled ‘within Weeks’ Amid Speculation of New Delay
TEHRAN (FNA)- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed all speculations of a substantial delay in the announcement of the much-anticipated Israeli-Palestinian peace plan on Friday, saying the United States would present it within weeks.
“We’ve been consulting broadly throughout the region for two and a half years now and I think in the coming weeks we’ll announce our vision,” Pompeo stated, according to AFP.
“And hopefully the world… will see that as a building block, a basis on which to move forward,” he added, responding to a question at Kansas State University.
Pompeo called peace in the Middle East “a difficult problem, one that ultimately those two peoples will have to resolve for themselves, but we’ve worked hard on that”.
The secretary of state’s comments come in the wake of the unexpected resignation of US President Donald Trump’s adviser on the Middle East, and one of the key architects of the “Deal of the Century”, Jason Greenblatt.
Greenblatt, the US President’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, will depart the administration in the coming weeks, the White House announced on Thursday.
Greenblatt was previously a lawyer at the Trump Organization. He had been leading the effort to devise the so-called peace plan, which has been delayed repeatedly.
In a tweet, Trump confirmed Greenblatt’s departure, saying, “After almost 3 years in my Administration, Jason Greenblatt will be leaving to pursue work in the private sector.”
Greenblatt was an advocate of Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds and recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian territory of Golan Heights, moves that were sharply criticized by Palestinians and Muslim nations.
The embassy move, followed by cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid, prompted the Palestinians to sever most ties with the US.
Greenblatt worked on the plan in concert with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.
The $50 billion so-called “peace to prosperity” plan, which was presented by Kushner at a US-led workshop in Bahrain in June, envisions a global investment fund to purportedly lift the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies.
No money has been secured for the projects in the plan, which the Palestinians have called “humiliating blackmail”.
Several leaks indicate that the plan — which Trump calls the ‘Deal of the Century’ — is hugely biased towards Israel and seems more to be aimed at consolidating the regime’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
Palestinians of all political leanings in blockaded Gaza and the occupied West Bank have rejected Trump’s deal as “Slap of the Century”.