US President Donald Trump is set to decide the fate of his administration’s Middle East peace proposal, named the “Deal of the Century”, within the coming days, according to a White House official.
The official said that Trump was the one who will be making the decision and is considering the timing of the announcement as a delay will not be in the interest of the plan given the upcoming US presidential election later this year.
The White House announced the economic aspect of the deal last June during a “Peace to Prosperity” held in Bahrain’s capital Manama. At the time, Trump’s son-in-law and his senior adviser Jared Kushner announced an ambitious plan aimed at investing $50 bln in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, along with a number of neighboring countries, such as Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt.
The Palestinian Authority boycotted the Manama workshop and Palestinian businessmen did not participate in the conference.
Speaking to Al Arabiya last July, Trump’s former Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, said Kushner’s economic plan “will not move forward” without a political agreement, reiterating his criticism of the Palestinian Authority’s unwillingness to discuss the plan.
Ghaith al-Omari, a former peace negotiator, said he saw an announcement of the plan at the present time would lead to its inevitable failure because the Palestinian Authority rejects it and the Arab states will not accept it if the Palestinians do not agree with it.
The US official who spoke to Al Arabiya also denied the accusations against the White House administration that Trump wanted to announce the plan in the coming days in order to give a boost to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who faces a third election in less than a year in March.
“This factor is not being considered by the White House because the most important thing is to launch the plan before Kushner gets busy with Trump’s re-election campaign,” the White House official said.