Trump says he expects to release Middle East peace plan by Tuesday


President Trump said he expects to release his long-awaited Middle East peace plan prior to his meeting with Israeli leaders on Tuesday at the White House.

“Sometime prior to that. Probably we’ll release it a little bit prior to that,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One while en route to Florida.

Trump said he had spoken “briefly” to the Palestinians about the plan, though it’s unclear when.

Palestinian officials essentially cut off talks with Washington after the Trump administration announced in late 2017 that it would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“They have a lot of incentive to do it,” Trump said of the Palestinians. “I’m sure they maybe will react negatively at first but it’s actually very positive for them.”

The White House announced earlier Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz would meet with Trump next week in Washington.

The leaders are expected to focus on the rollout of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, a long-promised policy proposal that has hit various roadblocks and been kept largely under wraps in the three years since Trump took office.

Officials had previously signaled they would withhold the specifics of the plan until after Israel’s elections. But both Gantz and Netanyahu failed to form governing coalitions after two cycles last year, and Israel is set to hold another election in March.

The administration appears to be ready to move forward now, however.

“I’d love to be able to do that deal,” Trump said Thursday. “They say that’s the hardest of all deals.”

While Netanyahu is in Washington, the Knesset is scheduled to consider his request for immunity from corruption charges filed against him last year. The prime minister has been a staunch ally of the Trump administration.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump

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