Friedman says peace U.S. plan will be released when ‘time is ripe’

Source: Senior US officials want plan to be rolled out before Israeli elections

David Friedman (photo credit: REUTERS)
David Friedman
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The US “remains committed to sharing its vision for peace with Israel, the Palestinians and other regional and international stakeholders at the appropriate time,” US Ambassador David Friedman said on Monday.
Friedman’s comments, in the form of a rare press release, came amid much speculation over when the US will roll-out the long-delayed plan, with some saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pressuring the US to delay the plan, because its expected call for Israeli concessions is not something that will play well with right wing voters that he will be competing against, such as Bayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beytenu.
The plan is expected to call for compromises to be made by the Palestinians, as well.
Friedman said he met with US President Donald Trump last week in the Oval Office, Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner, Mideast negotiator Jason Greenblatt, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Trump’s “vision for comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians” was discussed, Friedman said, adding, “reports of our meeting have been wildly inaccurate.”
Friedman said the timing, strategy and messaging of the plan will “be entirely our own.”
“We intend to release the president’s vision when the administration concludes that we have maximized its potential for acceptance, execution and implementation. Moreover, Mr. Kushner, Mr. Greenblatt and I are of one mind in terms of how best to proceed,” he said. “Those anonymous ‘experts’ who purport to speak for the administration on this issue are ill-informed and mistaken.”
One source told The Jerusalem Post that a senior administration official said recently in a conversation with Arab diplomats that the deal was “99% done,” and that some key players in the Trump administration’s Mideast team were in favor of presenting it now, and not waiting for new Israeli elections.
The source said that in recent days the Palestinians – who formally have cut off contact with the Trump administration – presented Trump’s team with a number of points that if feels must be in the plan.
The release of the plan – the blueprint for Trump’s ultimate deal, or the “deal of the century” – has already been delayed a number of times this year. In September, Trump said he would be releasing the plan in two to four months, but talk of new Israeli elections led many to speculate that this deadline will not be met.