State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Thursday rejected reports that the Trump administration’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been delayed.
Nauert was asked during her daily press briefing whether the plan, being prepared by President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and his Middle East envoy Jared Kushner, was indeed being pushed back.
“We have not unveiled the peace plan at this time. That will be unveiled by Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt when it is ready. And when it’s ready to be unveiled, they will unveil it,” she promised.
Earlier this week, a source said that the U.S. National Security Council has published a tender to hire experts for a steering committee to be established for the plan. The committee would allegedly be chaired by Middle East special envoy Jason Greenblatt.
According to the source, the administration would not be able to present the final peace plan until 2019.
National Security Spokesperson Garrett Marquis later told Arutz Sheva that the report was false.
"No such committee is being established. Further, the report that we will not release the plan in 2018 is also false. As we have said before, the release of the plan is not related to domestic United States or Israeli politics but when the plan is complete and the timing is right," said Marquis.
The U.S. peace plan, despite not having been made public yet, has thus far been met with resistance from PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his aides. They have refused to engage with the U.S. in protest over Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem of Israel’s capital and his relocating the U.S. embassy to the city.
Trump recently declined to offer a timetable for announcing the proposed peace plan, saying only that "progress" had been made in tackling the complex issue.
"A lot of progress has been made in the Middle East, a lot," he said in late June after a meeting at the White House with King Abdullah II of Jordan.