U.S. Envoy Haley: Fate Of ‘Deal Of The Century’ In Abbas’ Hands
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday pinned the successful resumption of the peace process on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ next moves. When questioned whether the so-called “deal of the century”—as President Donald Trump previously dubbed a potential Israeli-Palestinian accord—was still possible, Haley responded, “only if Abbas comes to the [negotiating] table.” She stressed that the White House has already received a commitment from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to participate in peace talks following the roll-out of the American administration’s highly-anticipated proposal. In this respect, speculation has been rife that the plan would be unveiled at the annual opening of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month, however, Haley poured cold water on the notion. Her assertion dovetails with recent reports that Washington will not present its proposal before the November mid-term vote, and possibly not until the end of 2019 if Israel holds early elections at the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, the American envoy confirmed she had read the peace plan—devised primarily by Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt—describing it as “thoroughly done [and] well thought out from both sides, the Palestinians and the Israelis. It takes into account every aspect of everything.” The White House earlier this week refuted an Israeli media report that President Trump had requested a meeting with Abbas on the sidelines of the UNGA. The two leaders have been at odds since the U.S. administration in December recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and subsequently moved the American Embassy to the holy city. In response, Abbas imposed a blanket boycott on Washington and unleashed verbal assaults on U.S. officials, including calling Ambassador to Israel David Friedman a “son of a dog” and having wished upon President Trump, “may your house be destroyed.” Abbas repeatedly has stated that he will not engage in any American-led peace process.