Trump's envoys seek UN support for peace plan

Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner tell Security Council ambassadors they hope for their support for Trump's peace plan.

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Elad Benari,

Kushner, Greenblatt and Haley at Security Council meeting
Kushner, Greenblatt and Haley at Security Council meeting

U.S. President Donald Trump's two top envoys on the Middle East told UN Security Council ambassadors that they hope for their support for the upcoming peace plan, diplomats said Wednesday, according to AFP.

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s envoy for Middle East peace, and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser, met behind closed doors with the ambassadors on Tuesday, the report said.

The council had just heard Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas call for an international conference to be held by mid-2018 to launch a wider peace process in which the United States would not have the central mediating role.

During the one-hour meeting, the envoys did not share details of the Trump plan nor did they indicate when the U.S. administration planned to unveil its proposals, diplomats told AFP.

"They asked for support at the time the plan comes out," said a diplomat, who asked not to be named. Another diplomat confirmed that Greenblatt and Kushner had made the request, even though no details of the plan were shared.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the U.S. administration was signalling its willingness to engage on the Middle East peace process and its respect for the Security Council by dispatching the two envoys.

"They talked about the progress in their efforts and contacts, and this was useful," said Delattre.

While France said it would consider Abbas's proposal for an international conference, Delattre stressed that the United States plays an "indispensable" role in the search for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.

Abbas has refused to accept the United States as a mediator in the peace process ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

On Tuesday, after Abbas’s speech, the State Department said the United States would consider supporting the involvement of other countries in Israeli-PA peace talks in the future if it believes it would be helpful in reaching an accord.

The U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, responded to Abbas’s speech by making clear that while the United States is holding out its hand for peace, it will not chase after the Palestinian Arabs.