Foreign Secretary statement on release of US proposals for Middle East peace

Foreign Secretary statement on release of US proposals for Middle East peace

Foreign Secretary statement on release of US proposals for Middle East peace

"So tomorrow at 12 o'clock, we'll be announcing a plan", said Trump while sitting alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inside the Oval Office.

The Palestinian leadership was not invited to the USA talks and has rejected Trump's initiative amid tensions over his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital.

World powers have long agreed that Jerusalem's fate should be settled through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

He confirmed he will be announcing the plan on Tuesday.

Speaking at Mr Trump's side, Mr Netanyahu hailed Mr Trump's plan as offering a "realistic path to a durable peace" that assures Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley.

In a rare event, rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah were set to meet in the West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss a response.

The launch of the plan has been delayed numerous times over the last two years.

"There was no brief contact on the deal of the century", a senior Abbas official told CNN, adding that "the Palestinians have not been informed". "The (Israeli) occupation and the USA administration will bear the responsibility for what they did", senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya told the Associated Press as he participated in one of several protests that broke out across the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

They are also angry at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent declaration that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are legal, and the Trump administration's decision to cut humanitarian aid.

It also no longer considers Israeli settlements there as inconsistent with global law, and most analysts expect Trump's peace proposal to reaffirm his administration's positions.

The Trump administration a year ago announced that it no longer considered Israel's settlement of civilians in the West Bank as "inconsistent with global law", further outraging the Palestinians.

After the meeting, Trump posted a map on Twitter showing the future of the Palestinian state.

Palestinian statehood would be dependent on Palestinians taking steps for self-government, such as respect for human rights, freedom of the press and having transparent and credible institutions, the officials said.

"Trump's statement about Jerusalem is nonsense and Jerusalem will always be a land for the Palestinians".

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014 and Palestinians have called Trump's proposal dead in the water even before its publication.

And there had been much speculation that he would decline the White House invitation over concerns that he might appear as a marginal figure at any meeting including Trump and Netanyahu.

It remains to be seen also how Israel responds, given the pressures its right-wing prime minister, Netanyahu, faces going into his third attempt at re-election in less than a year.

In the short term, said Dennis Ross, a United States diplomat who worked on the issue under several administrations, "anything that can divert attention away from what's going on" is the goal.

The U.S. peace proposal will be formally unveiled Tuesday in the joint news conference by Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu is seeking immunity from Israeli lawmakers through hearings due to start this week.

"If Trump is reelected, the administration believes the Palestinian Authority would need to swallow its defiance and reconcile itself to this new political reality", he wrote on January 24 in a report.

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