No, Trump doesn’t call Mideast plan ‘deal of the century’

Women holding Palestinian flags run for cover from Israeli gunfire and tear gas during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence in Gaza on Friday. (Reuters)
Updated 23 June 2019
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No, Trump doesn’t call Mideast plan ‘deal of the century’

  • In May 2017, Palestinian leader Abbas met Trump at the White House but refers only to a “historic peace deal” without using the phrase deal of the century

RAMALLAH: It has become common in recent months for media reports to say US President Donald Trump calls his proposed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan the “deal of the century,” a phrase seen as indicative of Trump’s real estate style of diplomacy.
Major international media, including AFP, have said the name was given by the president, but in fact it appears there is no record of him using it in public.
It seems the first major usage of the phrase originates from a 2017 meeting between Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Since then it has been used widely in the Arab world and by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, particularly by those opposed to the deal.
Shortly after his surprise election victory in November 2016, President-elect Trump gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal.Labelling it the “war that never ends,” he called achieving Israel-Palestinian peace “the ultimate deal.”
“As a deal maker, I’d like to do... the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake,” he said.
Trump had declared his desire to lead the most pro-Israel US government in history, but the Palestinians, Egyptians and other Arab states engaged with his administration on a potential peace proposal. On April 3, 2017, Trump met President El-Sisi.
In Arabic-language remarks, the Egyptian leader told Trump he was fully supportive of Trump’s attempts to find a “solution to the issue of the century with the deal of the century.”
The simultaneous translation of his speech into English, however, translated El-Sisi’s statement as finding a solution to the “problem of the century,” with no reference to the word deal. After the meeting the term deal of the century began to be discussed in Arabic media and online.
In May 2017, Palestinian leader Abbas met Trump at the White House but refers only to a “historic peace deal” without using the phrase deal of the century.
In September the two men met again and Abbas referred to it in Arabic as the “deal of the era.”
The simultaneous translation into English and White House transcript, however, referred to it as the “deal of the century.” This is possibly the first time Trump heard the phrase in public.
In November 2017, the official Palestinian news agency labels it the ‘Deal of the century.’
In December, Abbas cut ties with the Trump administration after the US officially recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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Major international media, including AFP, have said the name was given by the president, but in fact it appears there is no record of him using it in public.

The phrase “Deal of the century” became commonly used by Palestinian officials attacking Trump’s proposals, shorthand criticism for the way Trump — a real estate mogul — thinks about foreign policy.
Over time it became the default Arabic phrase for the peace proposals. It also starts to seep into English-language reporting on the issue.
In January 2019 The Wall Street Journal said Trump had “spoken repeatedly about his desire to find the ‘deal of the century’ to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” while the Reuters news wire referred to a “diplomatic effort that Trump has touted as the ‘deal of the century.’“
In May, The New York Times said Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner were finally ready to unveil the first part of “what the president has called ‘the deal of the century’.”
On June 1, an AFP story said the plan had been “dubbed by Trump as the ‘deal of the century’.”
Yet there is no record of the president or any of his senior officials working on the issue publicly using the phrase.
US officials have expressed surprise and confusion about how the formula became so commonplace.
In a statement to AFP, Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt distanced the administration from it.
“It’s not a label we prefer to use. It has been used in a derogatory way by some media outlets and others (outside the media),” he said.
“We will present a realistic and implementable vision for peace.”


Foreign forces raise Gulf ‘insecurity’: Iran’s Rouhani

Updated 9 min 17 sec ago

Foreign forces raise Gulf ‘insecurity’: Iran’s Rouhani

  • ‘Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region’
  • Hassan Rouhani calls on the foreign powers in the Gulf region to ‘stay away’

TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that the presence of foreign forces creates “insecurity” in the Gulf, after the US ordered the deployment of more troops to the region.
“Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region,” Rouhani said in a televised speech at an annual military parade, adding that Iran would present to the UN a regional cooperation plan for peace.
Tensions escalated between arch-foes Iran and the United States after devastating September 14 attacks on Saudi oil installations that Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Tehran.
Following the attacks, the United States announced on Friday that it was sending reinforcements to Saudi Arabia at “the kingdom’s request.”
In his speech on Sunday, Rouhani called on the foreign powers in the Gulf region to “stay away.”
“If they’re sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race,” he said.
“Your presence has always brought pain and misery for the region. The farther you keep yourselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be for our region.”
Rouhani said Iran would present a plan for peace to the United Nations in the coming days.
“In this sensitive and important historical moment, we announce to our neighbors, that we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to them,” he said.