Pompeo: Golan recognition will help resolve Israel-PA conflict

Secretary of State to lawmakers: Decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights will help resolve the Israeli-PA conflict.

Elad Benari,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights will help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.

“We believe this increases the likelihood that we get resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. We think it speaks with the clarity that takes this away from any uncertainty about how we’ll proceed,” Pompeo told the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee as it debated the State Department’s 2020 budget request.

Earlier at the same meeting, Pompeo suggested that an upcoming US peace plan would break with longstanding understandings on issues such as Jerusalem and Israeli communities, saying the old approach had failed.

"I'm very confident that what was tried before failed and I'm optimistic that what we're doing will give us a better likelihood that we'll achieve the outcomes that would be better for both the people of Israel and the Palestinian people as well," he said, according to AFP.

Pompeo repeatedly demurred when the committee's Democratic chairwoman, Nita Lowey, asked him if the Trump administration stood by the decades-old US position in support of a two-state solution.

Pompeo said the United States wanted to "broaden the debate," when asked if a peace deal would focus as in the past on establishing borders, mutual recognition and the status of Jerusalem, Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and Palestinian “refugees”.

"Those are the parameters that were largely at hand in the discussions before and they led us where we are today -- no resolution," Pompeo said.

The US plan will be "grounded in the facts on the ground and a realistic assessment of what would get us a good outcome," he added.

The Trump administration’s peace plan is set to be unveiled after the April 9 election in Israel. While little is known about the plan, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, recently revealed several details about it.

Kushner, who is working on the plan along with Trump’s regional envoy Jason Greenblatt, said it “is very detailed and will focus on delineating the border and providing solutions to the main issues that are controversial and will be appropriate for the current situation on the ground.”

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas has rejected the US peace plan before it has even been unveiled.

The PA has been boycotting the US ever since President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, however, has shown more openness toward the plan. During a summit in Warsaw last month, Netanyahu said, “I don’t think that any of us should reject the plan and reject this initiative by the American administration before it’s even presented.”