Mideast Daily News

Amid Spat With Palestinians, Chief U.S. Peace Negotiator Arrives In Israel

By Charles Bybelezer | The Media Line

December 20, 2017

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Chief U.S. negotiator Jason Greenblatt arrived in Israel amid a major row with the Palestinians over President Donald Trump’s decision to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Tasked with laying the groundwork for jump-starting peace talks, Greenblatt is facing his biggest challenge yet; namely, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has directed officials to boycott the U.S. envoy. At an Islamic summit in Istanbul last week, Abbas described the American policy shift as a “crime” and a gift to the “Zionist movement,” while emphasizing that Washington had effectively relinquished its historical role as an “honest broker” in the peace process. To this end, the PA leader has dispatched delegations to both China and Russia with the aim of securing international partners to “replace” the U.S. as a mediator. Nevertheless, the White House reiterated that it remains committed for forging an Israeli-Palestinian deal and is currently formulating the parameters of a comprehensive plan—reportedly hundreds of pages long—that is intended to be rolled out in early 2018.

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