US envoy says Trump peace plan to focus ‘heavily’ on Israeli security

Palestinian protestors at the Gaza border with Israel on Monday. (AFP)
Updated 08 October 2018
0

US envoy says Trump peace plan to focus ‘heavily’ on Israeli security

  • Jason Greenblatt said the plan would be fair to the Palestinians

JERUSALEM: One of the US officials tasked with drafting a blueprint for Israel-Palestinian peace says it will strongly reflect Washington’s commitment to Israel’s security but will also address Palestinian concerns.
In an interview published Monday by the English-language Times of Israel news site, presidential special envoy Jason Greenblatt said the plan would “be heavily focused on Israeli security needs.”
“But we also want to be fair to the Palestinians. We have tried hard to find a good balance,” he added.
“Each side will find things in this plan that they don’t like.”
US President Donald Trump said in September he would unveil a new peace plan within months.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas accuses Trump of bias toward Israel and refers mockingly to his evolving peace program as “the deal of the century.”
Abbas has in particular criticized Trump’s decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, his order to close the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington and to cut off aid funding, including to a UN agency that supports millions of Palestinian refugees.
The peace plan, Greenblatt said, “will include a resolution to all of the core issues, including the refugee issue.”
He said that it would not propose a Palestinian-Jordanian confederation as a possible solution — something that Abbas has been reported as saying Greenblatt and Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner sounded him out about at a meeting last month.
“We’re not looking at a confederation model,” Greenblatt said in Monday’s interview.
An end to Israeli occupation and a sovereign, independent state of their own is at the heart of Palestinian demands.
Israel, however, says it must retain a security buffer between the West Bank and neighboring Jordan and Israeli officials speak of an undefined “state-minus” or “less-than-state” for the Palestinians.
According to Israeli activists who met Abbas in September, the Palestinian leader said he had told Greenblatt and Kushner that he would only be interested in a confederation if Israel joined too.
His response was seen as a way of torpedoing the proposal since Israel would be highly unlikely to agree.


Yemeni PM: Funds from Saudi Arabia, UAE should be managed to achieve intended goals

Updated 17 December 2018
0

Yemeni PM: Funds from Saudi Arabia, UAE should be managed to achieve intended goals

  • The prime minister told the Saudi Press Agency that “Yemen has received large funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE"
  • He also said any upcoming funds in 2019 should focus on supporting the economy and paying as many salaries as possible

JEDDAH: Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malek stressed on the importance of managing funds to Yemen from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to achieve the intended goals.
He said the main challenge facing the Yemeni government lies in its ability to continue paying the salaries of its employees, and “this is what the government is working on through allocating financial funds in this field as it's priority.”
The prime minister told the Saudi Press Agency that “Yemen has received large funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the latest of which was the $500 million supply initiative, stressing the need to coordinate with international organizations working in Yemen to deliver aid.”
He also added that any upcoming funds in 2019 should focus on supporting the economy and paying as many salaries as possible, which will help the budget significantly.
“The challenges that will face Yemenis next year are big. We should not think of aid only, it is also necessary to think about helping the Yemeni economy and protecting it from further deterioration,” he said.
This, he added, also requires guarantees that contribute to the arrival of food aid, as well as looking into the activities and programs related to foreign organizations, with the aim of directing them to the areas in dire need of humanitarian and relief assistance.
The prime minister also pointed to the humanitarian impact that will result from the project of rehabilitation of the Al-Dalea road, which comes within the comprehensive humanitarian operations plan in Yemen and through the Isnad Center for Comprehensive Humanitarian Aid.