Report: Trump administration cooking up regional Mideast peace plan
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File
US President Donald Trump's administration is thrashing out a proposal for a peace process that will aim to normalize relations between Israel and neighboring Arab states, Israel's Channel Two reported on Sunday.
Citing US government officials, the report said Trump's team want to take a back seat in the negotiations and not put up a "take it or leave it" proposal to the two sides.
They also reportedly view Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as a serious peace partner, with an unnamed official quoted as saying that they "would not have spent so much time and resources" in the region if they did not see him as such.
It was not clear which specific regional powers the plan has in mind. Israel already has peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt, and while officials have been effusive about discreetly growing ties with Sunni states in the region, there has been no public thawing of relations.
A senior administration official did not confirm or deny the report when contacted by i24NEWS, saying that "we have no imminent plans beyond continuing our conversations. As we have always said, our job is to facilitate a deal that works for both Israelis and Palestinians, not to impose anything on them."
"It would be more newsworthy if we weren't working towards an enduring peace. We are engaged in a productive dialogue with all relevant parties about an enduring peace deal but are not going to put an artificial deadline on anything," the official added.
US officials have previously given clear denials about some reports in Israeli media on American positions relating to certain issues in the peace process.
Shortly after coming to power, Trump assigned his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and former personal lawyer Jason Greenblatt the task of finding a way to revive the moribund peace process.
Attempts at getting Israeli and Palestinian negotiators back to the table have lain fallow since the previous US administration gave up on intense shuttle diplomacy by former Secretary of State John Kerry in early 2014.
Their endeavor grew more complicated in recent weeks after the two rival Palestinian factions embarked on their most serious attempt and reconciliation attempt in years.
Israel said it would not negotiate with a united Palestinian leadership unless Hamas disarms, recognizes Israel and severs ties with Iran, among other demands.
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