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US plan will not propose a Palestinian state

The Trump administration’s plan to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will “stop short of ensuring a separate, fully sovereign Palestinian state,” the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The Washington Post said the plan will focus on “economic opportunities for Palestinians” in a long-term agreement where Israel would likely maintain security control over Palestinian areas in the West Bank.

A senior White House official said on Friday: “We believe we have a plan that is fair, realistic and implementable that will enable people to live better lives. We looked at past efforts and solicited ideas from both sides and partners in the region with the recognition that what has been tried in the past has not worked. Thus, we have taken an unconventional approach founded on not hiding from reality, but instead speaking truth.”

King Abdullah II of Jordan reportedly complained to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month that the White House had given him zero visibility into how it proposes to divide Israeli and Palestinian territory. According to a source in the room: “The King made it clear they have not been talking to him about it. He seemed to be critical and dismissive of the efforts.” Another source said King Abdullah: “Gave the impression that it was more of an economic deal rather than a peace deal”.

Thirty-six high-ranking former European politicians have called on the EU to reject Trump’s plan unless it proposes a Palestinian state alongside Israel with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the capital for both states and an agreed, fair solution to the refugee issue.

Former Foreign Secretaries David Miliband and Jack Straw as well as Desmond Swayne, a former minister of state for international development, and Douglas Alexander, a former Europe minister, signed the letter published in the Guardian today.

In anticipation of the US plan, the leaders urged the EU to: “… Formally reaffirm the internationally agreed parameters for a two-state solution. Doing this in advance of the US plan establishes the EU’s criteria for supporting American efforts and facilitates a coherent and unified European response once the plan is published.”