Kushner: Mideast Peace Plan Won't Be Unveiled Before June

Trump's son-in-law tells group of ambassadors Wednesday that U.S. plan will only be revealed after month of Ramadan ends

Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner attending a ceremony where U.S. President Donald Trump signed a Proclamation on the Golan Heights in White House, Washington, during a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, March 25, 2019.
AFP

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan won’t be released before June, said Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

Kushner told a group of ambassadors that the plan will only be revealed after the conclusion of the Islamic month of Ramadan, which begins in early May and ends in early June.

The document outlining the U.S. plan is over 50-page long, Kushner added, saying it includes a political section and an economic section.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the peace plan is likely to “stop short of ensuring a separate, fully sovereign Palestinians state.”

Arab officials told the publication that Kushner, who is spearheading efforts to formulate the plan, has focused on “economic opportunities for Palestinians” in a long-term agreement with Israel.

Under the deal, Israel would likely maintain its control over “autonomous” Palestinian territories, the report added.

While details of the blueprint remain unclear, it appears it would not include a two-state solution as a basis for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the report suggested.

Similar reports came out last year: A March 2018 story in the New York Times suggested that “the plan will not call for a two-state solution as one of its goals, though it will prescribe pathways for the creation of two states.”

Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in Ramallah Tuesday, during a meeting with Israeli journalists, that "as long as Jerusalem is not on the table, Trump's plan will not be on the table."

Abu Rudeineh, who also serves as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' personal adviser, added that any peace initiative should be based on previous principles that guided the negotiations: A two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with two capitals in Jerusalem (an Israeli one in the west of the city and a Palestinian one in the east).

The U.S. peace plan had been considered to be in a state of hibernation so as not to interfere with Israel’s recent election. Washington’s intensive preparations for its release, which geared up in the last months of 2018, slowed down once Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for an early election last December.

Last week, Trump said that Netanyahu's victory in Israel's election was a good sign for peace. “Everyone said you can't have peace in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said. “I think we have a chance, and I think we now have a better chance with Bibi having won,” Trump told reporters at the White House.