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Trump’s Middle East Envoy Preparing to Leave White House

Trump’s Middle East Envoy Preparing to Leave White House

Thursday, 5 September, 2019 - 15:30
A reviewing stand is seen outside of the White House in Washington, US January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration official tasked with developing a long-delayed US plan to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, is preparing to leave the White House.

An administration official said Thursday that Greenblatt, who is President Donald Trump's special representative for international negotiations, will depart the administration in the coming weeks once the so-called "Deal of the Century" is released.

Greenblatt and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, as well as the US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, have led the effort to devise the oft-delayed peace plan. They have spent the entire Trump presidency working on the project.

Greenblatt took a visible role in strengthening ties between the US and Israel. He advocated for decisions to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights — moves that drew skepticism from Palestinians and Arab nations.

So far, the White House has outlined a $50 billion redevelopment plan for the Palestinians and neighboring countries but have yet to release their proposals for resolving difficult political issues like the status of Jerusalem.

US officials said the political plan is now complete and will be made public when appropriate. Trump has said he will release it some time after Israel holds an election on Sept. 17 that will decide the fate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close Trump ally.

Whether Trump releases the plan immediately after the election or he waits until a governing coalition is formed, a process that could take weeks, remains unclear.

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