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Pence says White House to release Mideast peace plan next week

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 24, 2020
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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (C) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, on Jan. 23, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday during a visit to Jerusalem that the White House plans to release its plan for peace in the Middle East next week in Washington.

In joint statements with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Pence said that U.S. President Donald Trump requested him to extend an invitation to Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz to arrive in Washington "to discuss regional issues and the possibility of peace in the Holy Land."

Netanyahu and Gantz accepted the invitation, Pence said.

Netanyahu said he suggested the White House would invite Gantz as well, "because I think it is important that we not lose this historic opportunity with such friends in the White House."

11选5客户端"We should get as broad consensus as possible," said Netanyahu.

11选5客户端The statements were made ahead of a meeting between Pence and Netanyahu in the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

The unveiling of the long-awaiting peace plan comes as both Netanyahu and Gantz pledged to annex the Israeli-occupied West Bank if they win Israel's upcoming national elections on March 2.

11选5客户端The move is considered highly controversial among most of the international community and is likely to spark Palestinian protest.

Trump has postponed several times the publication of his "Deal of the Century" for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The economic part of Trump's peace plan was unveiled during a U.S.-led conference in Bahrain last June, a convention boycotted by the Palestinians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas severed ties with the Trump administration in 2017 after the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

11选5客户端The last round of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians broke down in 2014 amid Israeli expansion of the settlements in the West Bank.

Israel seized the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and has since controlled or blockaded them despite international criticism.

11选5客户端The Palestinians wish to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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