Trump’s Middle East Plan Unlikely to Achieve Peace: Arab League

(Bloomberg) -- The Arab League should adopt a united stance toward U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan, which is unlikely to achieve peace and stability for Israel and Palestine, its Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

“Today’s meeting is a message that the Palestinians are not alone,” Gheit said on Saturday at the start of an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers to review the proposed road map. The current situation is setting the stage “for another hundred years of conflict in the region,” he said.

Speaking at the meeting in Cairo, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged the United Nations’ Security Council to reject the blueprint, which he said would take away 30% of the West Bank.

The plan that gives Israel tacit approval to annex settlements in the West Bank and control over Jerusalem as an undivided capital was drawn up without Palestinian involvement. Palestinians claim all of the West Bank for a future state and reject Trump’s offer as being worse than what they’ve received in previous failed negotiations.

While no Arab state has expressed outright approval of the proposal to solve the decades-old dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, regional powers Egypt and Saudi Arabia have refrained from criticizing it, and the United Arab Emirates has said the plan is a “serious initiative” and a starting point for negotiations.

Critics say the offer for a fragmented nation-like Palestinian state years in the future is a non-starter aimed chiefly at domestic political audiences in the U.S. and Israel, where Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are both locked in legal wrangling ahead of elections.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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