03:37 GMT08 April 2020
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    The US secretary of state says the upcoming peace plan will be “grounded in the facts on the ground and a realistic assessment".

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said an upcoming White House peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will break from the ways previous administrations sought to solve the conflict, because they failed to deliver concrete results.

    Speaking before the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday, Pompeo said the White House believes the US can still be a fair arbiter in helping to resolve the long-time conflict, despite the Palestinian side withdrawing from negotiations following Washington's unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    "I'm very confident that what was tried before failed, and I'm optimistic that what we're doing will give us a better likelihood that we'll achieve the outcomes that would be better for both the people of Israel and the Palestinian people as well", Pompeo said.

    When asked directly if the upcoming plan will include establishing fixed borders for Israel and a Palestinian state, ensuring mutual recognition, defining the status of Jerusalem and solving the issues of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Palestinian refugees, Pompeo noted that the administration seeks to "broaden the debate".

    "Those are the parameters that were largely at hand in the discussions before, and they led us where we are today — no resolution", Pompeo said, according to The Times of Israel.

    He evaded the question of whether the current administration will continue to pursue the two-state solution endorsed by previous administrations, saying the White House believes "it will be the peoples of those two lands who resolve this", according to a Bloomberg report.

    Pompeo said the peace plan will be "grounded in the facts on the ground and a realistic assessment of what would get us a good outcome".

    Last time the US administration "recognised reality", US President Donald Trump acknowledged Israeli sovereignty over Syria's Golan Heights, a territory Tel Aviv occupied in 1967, though the UN has never recognised Israeli sovereignty there. The unilateral proclamation, which Trump officially signed Monday, has sparked international outrage as a violation of international law.

    According to Pompeo, the decision to recognise Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights will help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by removing uncertainty.

    "We believe this increases the likelihood that we get resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians", Pompeo said Wednesday at the congressional hearing. "We think it speaks with the clarity that takes this away from any uncertainty about how we'll proceed".

    The administration is reportedly planning to unveil the peace plan after next month's elections in Israel, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close Trump ally, is seeking re-election, according to The Hill. The US administration announced its intention to develop a peace plan shortly after Trump's election. However, it has offered few specifics about the plan or when it might be made public.


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    Mideast peace plan, Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump, Palestine, Israel, United States
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