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Envoy Says US Peace Plan Will Not Be Ambiguous

Envoy Says US Peace Plan Will Not Be Ambiguous

Tuesday, 23 July, 2019 - 18:00
Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt said on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump has not yet decided on when to release his peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council, he said: “A comprehensive and lasting peace will not be created by fiat of international law or by these heavily wordsmithed, unclear resolutions.”

“The vision for peace that we plan to present will not be ambiguous, unlike many resolutions that have passed in this chamber,” he added.

Greenblatt said it would provide enough detail for people to see “what compromises will be necessary to achieve a realistic, lasting, comprehensive solution to this conflict.”

Greenblatt and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner have spent two years developing the plan, made up of political as well as economic components, which they hope will provide a framework for renewed talks between the Palestinian and Israel.

“President Trump has not yet decided when we will release the political portion of the plan, and we hope to make that decision soon,” Greenblatt told the 15-member Security Council.

While Greenblatt did not reveal any details of the “60-or-so”-page plan, he said the conflict could not be solved using global consensus, international law and references to UN resolutions - sparking strong rebuttals from council members.

“For us, international law is not menu a la carte,” Germany’s UN Ambassador Christoph Heusgen told the council.

“There are other instances where US representatives here insist on international law, insist on the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, for instance on North Korea,” Heusgen said.

Several council members, including Russia, Britain, France and Indonesia, echoed Heusgen.

“Security Council resolutions are international law, they merely need to be complied with,” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said.

France would support any peace effort “so long as this aligns with the approach that we have set out together, so long as this adheres to international law, specifically all resolutions of the Security Council,” French UN Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere said.

The US’ Middle East proposal has two major components - a political piece that addresses core issues such as the status of Jerusalem, and an economic portion that aims to strengthen the Palestinian economy.

Kushner and Greenblatt have not said, however, whether it calls for a two-state solution, a goal of past peace efforts.

Greenblatt called on the Palestinians “to put aside blanket rejections of a plan they have not even seen” and show a willingness to engage in talks with Israel. He also urged the Security Council to encourage the parties back to the negotiating table.

Nebenzia suggested a visit by the Security Council to the region was overdue and could be helpful. The United States has long objected to a council visit, which has to be agreed by consensus, diplomats said.

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