US envoy: Peace plan for Israel and Palestinians delayed ‘several months’

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The U.S. ambassador to Israel said Sunday that the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan will likely not be released for “several months,” according to multiple reports.

Ambassador David Friedman told reporters in Jerusalem that the plan is “pretty much completed,” but the administration must still smooth out certain details. The delay is due in part to upcoming Israeli elections, he added.

“We want to release it a way that gives it the best chance of getting a good reception,” Friedman said, according to Haaretz.

{mosads}The Trump administration has touted the impending release of its Middle East peace plan as part of an effort to broker calm in the region, particularly between Israel and the Palestinians. However, the White House has not given an indication on when it might be released or what the plan will propose.

Trump roiled Middle Eastern leaders last year when the U.S. opened its new embassy in Jerusalem and recognized the city as Israel’s capital.

While the Trump administration hailed the decision as long overdue, European and Middle Eastern leaders warned that the relocation could undermine peace talks. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cut off negotiations with the U.S. in response to the move.

The city is a major sticking point in peace negotiations, as both Palestinians and Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has taken the lead in peace negotiations, meeting last year with leaders from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt.

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