Middle East peace plan 'almost ready', US says

Middle East peace plan 'almost ready', US says
2 min read
23 February, 2018
The Middle East peace plan proposed by Trump's team is "almost ready" despite the Palestinian president's refusal to accept the US as a mediator.
Palestinian president Abbas said the United States had disqualified itself as a mediator [Getty]
The United State's Middle East peace plan is nearly ready, the US's envoy to the UN said on Thursday.

Speaking at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics, Nikki Haley said: "They're coming up with a plan. It won't be loved by either side, and it won't be hated by either side…I think they're finishing it up."

When asked by the institute's head David Axelrod on whether the US's peace proposal would be built around the basis of a Palestinian State similar to that of the past, Haley replied: "It's for them to decide."

"It's hard for me to see how they would want (a single state)…they are pushing towards a two-state outcome," she added.

Haley's comments come two days after Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the UN Security Council, calling for an alternative to solely US-mediated negotiations.

Trump's peace team dismissed Abbas' request and began briefing members of the UN Security Council on their plan to jump-start negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinians froze ties with the US after Trump broke with decades of American policy in December by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and declaring he would move the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city.

Palestinian president Abbas said the United States had disqualified itself as a mediator. "We will no longer accept that it has a role in the political process," he said at the time.

Abbas' office said that "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine, and is not for sale for gold or billions" with other senior officials adding that they will not be "blackmailed" by Trump's threat of aid cuts.

Both the Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip have seen daily protests and Palestinians have clashed with Israeli troops. At least 27 Palestinians have been killed since Trump's announcement on December 6.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its "undivided" capital, a position nearly the entire world rejects saying its status should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.

Under international law, East Jerusalem is considered occupied Palestinian territory.