Skip to comments.Tillerson Says US Mideast Peace Plan ‘Fairly Well Advanced’
Posted on 02/16/2018 4:26:00 AM PST by SJackson
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: Wikicommons. The US administrations work on a new Middle East peace plan is fairly well advanced and President Donald Trump will decide when to announce it, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday during a visit to Jordan.
Tillerson also signed a five-year aid package that extends US support to Jordan, a key regional ally, despite Trumps threat to withhold support from states opposed to his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Commenting on the peace plan, Tillerson said: I have seen the plan. Its been under development for a number of months. I have consulted with them on the plan, identified areas that we feel need further work. So I think it will be up to the president to decide when he feels its time and hes ready to put that plan forward. I will say its fairly well advanced.
February 15, 2018 2:28 pm
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Trump reversed decades of US policy in December when he recognized Jerusalem as Israels capital and set in motion the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv.
The decision triggered outrage in the Arab and Muslim world, and led Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to declare that he would not cooperate with the United States as a mediator.
Trump threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that backed a UN resolution calling for Washington to reverse its Jerusalem decision. Jordan voted for the resolution.
King Abdullahs Hashemite dynasty is the custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, making Amman particularly sensitive to any changes of status there.
Tillerson and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) for $6.375 billion in aid starting this year. The previous such MoU between Jordan and the United States was for three years.
This MoU commitment highlights the pivotal role Jordan plays in helping foster and safeguard regional stability and supports US objectives such as the global campaign to defeat ISIS, counter-terrorism cooperation, and economic development, the US State Department said in a statement.
ISIS is an acronym for the militant Islamic State group. Conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq have damaged Jordans economy, forcing it to borrow heavily from external and domestic sources. Jordan has been an important part of the US-led coalition battling Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Tillerson is also expected to visit Turkey this week, with which US ties have become badly strained over Washingtons support for the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, regarded by Ankara as a terrorist group.
With respect to my meetings in Ankara, Turkey is still an important NATO ally of the United States. We need to find a way to continue to work in the same direction. We are committed to the same outcomes in Syria, Tillerson said.
Tillerson expressed concern over Saturdays confrontation between Israel and Iranian assets in Syria. Syrian air defenses shot down an Israeli F-16 jet on Saturday after it bombed a site used by Iran-backed forces.
Tillerson said Iran should withdraw its forces and militias from Syria, where Tehran backs President Bashar al-Assad.
Responding to the comments, a senior Iranian official, Ali Akbar Velayati, said Irans military presence in Syria was legitimate and based on an invitation from Damascus. He called on US forces to leave Syria.
In other words, Tillerson is still proudly wasting American taxpayer dollars to enhance his chances at invitations to swell Manhattan and Hollywood parties.
Build nice hotels in ?....Yemen or Malaysia or Pakistan. Check the Fakestinians in. Permanently. Instant peace. Otherwise, all this talk is a complete waste of time. But yes DJT is a builder - if anyone can do it, he can
He doesn’t strike me as that type of person.
He does not compete with grabbing political headlines. He is practical which probably why he was chosen. He sees things in the real and tangible world and I’m sure anybody or any nation he has set up with U.S dollars or aide has denotable metrics they must adhere to.
Trump makes his job difficult. There’s no conclusion other than that. He does his best to advance Trumps ideology while mitigating toxic diplomacy.
Trump has correctly figured out that for the peace plan to ever have a chance of working the PA must change. Hamas must disappear and people who care are put in place.
Lock up every last imam for life and burn every koran. Erase mohamed from their lives. That’s the only way you’ll have peace.
Tillerson also signed a five-year aid package that extends US support to Jordan, a key regional ally, despite Trumps threat to withhold support from states opposed to his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel... Tillerson and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) for $6.375 billion in aid starting this year. The previous such MoU between Jordan and the United States was for three years... Conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq have damaged Jordans economy, forcing it to borrow heavily from external and domestic sources. Jordan has been an important part of the US-led coalition battling Islamic State in Iraq and Syria... Tillerson is also expected to visit Turkey this week, with which US ties have become badly strained over Washingtons support for the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria... "With respect to my meetings in Ankara, Turkey is still an important NATO ally of the United States. ... We need to find a way to continue to work in the same direction. We are committed to the same outcomes in Syria," Tillerson said.Heh, no we're not.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan meet in Sochi, Russia November 22, 2017. (photo credit: SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL METZEL/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)
A few months ago the idea was floated that Egypt would sell/lease an area of land that would expand the size of Gaza 5-fold, Israel would annex the major settlement blocks and other strategic zones in the West Bank, and the Palestinians would have a limited presence in the West Bank but a large opportunity to build a new sovereign country in the Sinai which would include new cities, new roads and infrastructure, sea ports, air port, plus sovereign control over several natural gas deposits and oil deposits.
If the Palestinian state were to be largely set up in an area of Sinai there would be plenty of room to resettle all refugees, plenty of resources to manage a nation state’s internal needs, and really a blank slate to build modern cities for its people. They would in theory have access to both the Med and Red seas (or at least the Med plus rights to use the canal), access to water and desalination, energy independence to power their country with nat gas and oil, and lots of land which could be farmed. I have watched the Gulf countries build modern cities in the desert, and even on the water. With the combined technological know-how of the US, Europe, Israel and others they would really have an opportunity to build a very efficient country - having learned from 100’s of years of mistake made around the world that have led to congestion, pollution, lack of transportation and poor public planning.
Obviously this story is short on details like that, and truth be told as great an idea it sounds (at least insofar as the opportunity to literally build a brand new country to house millions of people from scratch) I wouldn’t expect the PA to jump at the idea. It would take a lot of pressure including promises of lots of money and a vision for it must be sold to the people. The thing of it is, and I’ve known this for a long time, the idea of resettling refugees inside the West Bank is a non-starter for the Palestinians themselves who live there. They don’t even really want a major highway from Ramallah to Gaza. The West Bank Palestinians have a very large number of middle class, merchant class, educated, skilled, politically moderate people. They suffer NIMBY like any other people in any other country they do not want hundreds of thousand or millions of unskilled, under-educated people moving in. This is why the PA leaders want Israel to absorb them but that’s also a non-starter. The only plan that makes sense is to use land in Sinai or in Jordan. Leave the core of the people in the West Bank but the majority of the new country to be build in the Sinai.
Is there any other plan being floated? Are they still going with the “land for peace” and the idea that they can divide Israel from the West Bank and house another 5-8 million people?
The article says we renewed 5 year aid package for Jordan, I would suspect that means that Jordan’s participation in the plan is already accepted (and likely negligible). That leaves of course Palestinians, Israel and potentially Egypt to sit at the table and work it out. If that Sinai plan is where it is headed, I suspect Saudi Arabia will want to put it’s 2 cents in and it should cost them many billions to do so. But Saudi Arabia recently purchased 2 Islands from Egypt in return for direct investment inside Egypt. Saudis will likely want to invest in a Palestinian state not just for charity but for access to its markets, construction contracts and more influence in Egypt, Jordan and Israel.
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