U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during an event with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at Carasso Science Park in Beersheba, Israel December 20, 2018.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is seriously considering releasing its Middle East peace plan
as soon as possible after Israel's national election on April 9.
White House officials believe they have a window of just a year to roll out its plans for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, after Israel’s elections in April and before the launch of the US 2020 presidential campaign the following summer.
According to three senior aides, US President Donald Trump’s peace team is negotiating out a timetable for the release of their plan that calibrates with these election markers and also provides a substantial runway for negotiations, should the plan take off.
Their short timetable might conflict with efforts in Israel to form a governing coalition right after voting – a process which could take several weeks. US officials declined to comment as to whether that process would affect their launch of the peace plan.
“Longer is not our friend,” one senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post. “It is hard for us to imagine a set of circumstances where the plan is never released. We have every intention of releasing it.”
Also Thursday, Walla! reported that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman had revealed in private conversations that the administration was planning to roll out its plan in April. The news website quoted a western diplomat who said that Friedman had told him that the White House was aware of the political sensitivities of rolling out the peace plan before the formation of the coalition, but that Friedman said he feels that whoever will be the Israeli prime minister then will be more willing to adopt the plan under such a timeline.
The administration, however, has denied the contents of the Walla! report.
"As in the past, speculation with regards to the content or timing of the plan is not accurate," a US official said. "We have no further comment."