Report: Trump proposed using Arab peace Initiative, but switching order

US President reportedly calls for Arab states and Palestinians to first normalize relations with Israel as part of peace process; Reports come from senior Palestinian official

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During meetings with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia and with the Palestinian Authority, President Trump reportedly proposed resuming the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians through a regional plan based on the Arab peace initiative, with a twist.

The president reportedly spoke with Arab leaders while in Saudi Arabia as well as with Palestinian Authority officials, mainly President Mahmoud Abbas on a “new framework that the president is proposing to succeed”.

The Arab peace initiative of 2002 claimed 22 Arab states would normalize relations with Israel and recognize the Jewish State if Israel were to 1967 borders. As part of the agreement, Palestinian refugees would be provided with something similar to the Jewish law of return. Embassies would be established and Israel would be recognized by Arab states.

The reports came from senior Palestinian official who shared the information with Israeli media. According to the official, Trump proposed to switching the order and that normalization with Israel and recognition of the Jewish State come first. According to the official Trump wants for “normalization of relations between Israel and moderate Arab countries first and only afterward a peace process in whose framework a solution to the Palestinian issue will be advanced”.

The official stated to Israel media on Wednesday, “Until now, what hindered progress in the advance of the Arab Peace Initiative was the failure of negotiations with Israel. President Trump is interested in advancing a different thought process within the framework of the deal between Israel and the Palestinians that he’s talking about.”

He stated that the “American president emphasized in his talk with Abbas that there is, in principle, agreement in Riyadh and other moderate Arab countries to give an opportunity for the possibility of the new framework that the president is proposing to succeed, and that maybe a process like this of switching the order – normalization of relations between Israel and moderate Arab countries first and only afterward a peace process in whose framework a solution to the Palestinian issue will be advanced – could work, and could bring the sides to initiate a process set according to a pre-determined timeline.”

He added, “Within the framework of such a process a solution to the Palestinian issue would be obtained, including the establishment of a Palestinian state recognized by Israel, as well as a declaration from the sides that the disagreement is over and there are no more claims.”

President Trump and Abbas met in Bethlehem Tuesday morning. During a joint press conference, both leaders spoke of their desire to see peace. Trump stated “Peace is a choice we must make each day and the US is here to make that dream possible for young Jewish, Muslim and Christian children. I truly believe if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace it will begin a process for peace in the Middle East.”