U.S. Envoy Sees "Growing Receptivity to Peace across the Region"

(U.S. Embassy in Israel) Jason Greenblatt - U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt told the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv on Tuesday: "After extensive travel in the region to explore the possibility of Israeli and Palestinian peace this year, I continue to firmly believe that there is a real path forward towards peace." "My many meetings with the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, reveal...[that] confronted with an emboldened, aggressive Iran, and populations eager for economic opportunity, many leaders understand now that Israel is not the problem - in fact, Israel could be part of the solution." "Despite criticism following President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, for the most part I have seen a growing receptivity to peace across the region....President Trump has brought a fresh set of eyes and energy to the task of peacemaking. It is clear that President Trump's actions and language have changed expectations about what is possible. He has revitalized the discussion and language of peace in the region." "Our approach is rooted in the belief that instead of working to impose a solution from the outside, we must give the parties space to make their own decisions about their future. Our approach is also guided by the belief that instead of laying blame for the conflict at the feet of one party or the other, we must focus on unlocking new areas of cooperation which benefit both Palestinians and Israelis....We will not impose a deal on either party." "When President Trump made his historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, he was not rewriting history - he was recognizing an obvious reality....Jerusalem...has been the cultural and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people for thousands of years and Israel made Jerusalem its capital 70 years ago. We deeply believe that recognizing this reality was an important step, not just for Israel, but to lay the ground for a comprehensive, enduring - and real peace." "Did the President's decision prejudge any final status issues? No....Did the announcement change the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites? It did not....Did the decision, then, signal the United States' abandonment of the peace process, or a bias against one side? Again, I answer, no. The United States is as committed as ever to reaching an agreement that guarantees a peaceful, prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians." "Peace will not be achieved by denying Judaism's thousands of years of ties to Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. Peace will not be achieved by walking away from negotiations. Peace only has a chance of success through respectful, continuous dialogue and through negotiations."

2018-02-02 00:00:00

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