Pompeo says Middle East peace plan will be announced in ‘weeks’
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Pompeo says Middle East peace plan will be announced in ‘weeks’

US secretary of state says Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt’s resignation won’t lead to fresh delay in releasing ‘vision’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo answers a question from an audience member after giving a speech at the London Lecture series at Kansas State University Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo answers a question from an audience member after giving a speech at the London Lecture series at Kansas State University Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Friday the United States will present its long-awaited Middle East peace plan within weeks as he acknowledged a difficult task.

President Donald Trump’s administration pushed back the plan after Israel unexpectedly headed back to new elections to be held September 17 and fresh questions arose Thursday when Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s adviser on the Middle East, resigned.

But Pompeo, responding to a question at Kansas State University, dismissed speculation of a substantial new delay.

“We’ve been consulting broadly throughout the region for two and a half years now and I think in the coming weeks we’ll announce our vision,” Pompeo said.

“And hopefully the world… will see that as a building block, a basis on which to move forward,” he said.

He called Middle East peace “a difficult problem, one that ultimately those two peoples will have to resolve for themselves, but we’ve worked hard on that.”

The Palestinian Authority has cut off formal contact with the Trump administration, saying it is not an honest broker after recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

The administration has started to describe its upcoming proposal as a “vision” rather than a plan, leading observers to wonder if Washington will offer more of a statement of principles rather than seek to broker a major agreement.

Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner launched the administration’s peace initiative in June with a conference in Bahrain in which he dangled $50 billion in investment for the region if the Palestinians agree on a political deal.

The Palestinian leadership boycotted the conference, accusing the administration of ignoring key political issues and trying to buy its acceptance of Israeli rule.

Kushner has repeatedly said that a political component of the peace plan was in the pipeline.

Greenblatt cited personal reasons in leaving, with the father of six saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

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