White House preparing to release Middle East peace plan: report

White House preparing to release Middle East peace plan: report
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The White House is recruiting for a new Middle East policy team ahead of the release of its long-awaited Middle East peace plan, according to a new report on Friday.

Staffers joining the team are being assigned for six months to a year, according to The Associated Press

The team is divided into three focus areas including political and security details, economics and strategic communications, according to the report. Their plan will focus on pragmatic details, the AP reported.

But the White House has not announced a date for the release of the plan and has only indicated it is coming soon.

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White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump officials mull plan to divert billions more to border wall: report California trip shows Trump doesn't always hate the media Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy MORE and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, who are leading Trump’s Middle East peace efforts, held meetings with the leaders of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel in June, in what was widely perceived to be an attempt to drum up support for the plan.

At the time, the White House would only call the meetings “productive.”

But Haaretz reported that Arab leaders meeting with Kushner asked him not to release the peace plan at this time to avoid further destabilizing the region.

In a consequence of the U.S.'s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel earlier this year, Palestinian leaders refused to meet Kushner and Greenblatt on their tour of the Middle East. But Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced that there is “no point” to a proposed deal if the U.S. ignores the necessity of establishing a Palestinian state. 

Kusher told the Arabic language Al-Quds newspaper, as translated by The Associated Press, that Abbas can “come back to the table” at any time.