TEL AVIV – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that the rollout of the Trump administration’s much-anticipated peace plan will begin “immediately following” Israeli elections on April 9 and that certain aspects of the proposal have already been discussed with regional partners.
The proposal, Pompeo said via satellite to the World Economic Forum in Davos, “won’t be a U.S.-driven process. Ultimately, the Israelis and the Palestinians will have to come to an agreement. But we think that the foundations that we have laid and the work that we’ll do immediately following the Israeli elections will set conditions where we can have a constructive conversation.”
The White House has “been working on this for a long time,” he added. “Mr. [Jared] Kushner has been in the lead along with Jason Greenblatt in developing our program.”
The senior diplomat also said, “we’ve begun to share elements of this across the region.”
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict “has troubled the region for decades and decades now. It seems to me that we’re at a point in time where there are ways that we can resolve the primary differences and encourage those two places, the Israelis and the Palestinians, to come together to resolve their differences and get a solution there that has bedeviled the world for an awfully long time,” he stated.
In his satellite address, Pompeo also repeated his assertion that the Islamic State has been “defeated” in Iraq and Syria, contradicting claims from coalition partners that the terror group remains an active threat.
Last Thursday, Israel’s Channel 13 news reported that the peace plan stipulates a Palestinian state with its capital located in “most of the Arab neighborhoods” of eastern Jerusalem. The Palestinian state would comprise 85-90% of the West Bank and the proposal would include land swaps, with the major settlement blocs annexed to Israel.
The U.S. flatly denied the report, saying, “As in the past, speculations regarding the peace plan are inaccurate. We have no further reaction.”