PLO denies report it is anticipating ‘historic’ peace offer
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PLO denies report it is anticipating ‘historic’ peace offer

Erekat did not make the statement attributed to him, PLO states; American insiders also reject Times of Israel report

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

Palestinian chief negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Saeb Erekat, speaks during a press conference in the West Bank city of Jericho on February 15, 2017. (AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)
Palestinian chief negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Saeb Erekat, speaks during a press conference in the West Bank city of Jericho on February 15, 2017. (AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)

The PLO on Tuesday evening denied a report from earlier in the day that chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat had told the Al-Khaleej daily a “historic” peace offer would be presented by the Trump administration to PA President Mahmoud Abbas when he visits Washington, DC.

The report was also denied by American officials.

Erekat did not make a statement to that effect, the PLO tweeted.

During a phone conversation on Friday, President Donald Trump invited the Palestinian leader to the White House. Abbas on Tuesday hosted Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt.

During a Sunday address at a graduation ceremony for public-sector employees, Abbas told the crowd that Trump had reaffirmed, during the call, his commitment to the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Greenblatt in Jerusalem. The two discussed opportunities for advancing peace between Israel and its neighbors, and tried to formulate a coordinated approach for the two leaderships on the issue of settlements.

Greenblatt told Netanyahu that “enabling the growth of the Palestinian economy and improving the quality of life for Palestinians” were important to Trump. The prime minister replied that he was “fully committed to broadening prosperity for Palestinians,” seeing the issue “as a means of bolstering the prospects for peace.”

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