US ambassador to UN calls for support for new Mideast peace plan

AFP , Tuesday 18 Dec 2018

Nikki Haley
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley leaves a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Middle East at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., December 18, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)

The outgoing US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, on Tuesday called on Israelis and Palestinians to back a US peace plan to be unveiled in early 2019.

Without revealing details of the plan, drawn up by President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, Haley said it was far longer than past proposals and included elements that would have previously been "unthinkable."

"Unlike previous attempts at addressing this conflict, this plan is not just a few pages, containing unspecific and unimaginative guidelines," said Haley, who is due to leave her post at the end of December.

"It is much longer. It contains much more thoughtful detail. It brings new elements to the discussion, taking advantage of the new world of technology we now live in," she told a regularly session of the Security Council on the Middle East.

"It embraces the reality that things can be done today that were previously unthinkable," she added.

"The critical question is whether the response will be any different. There are things in the plan that every party will like, and there are things in the plan that every party will not like," said Haley, who will be replaced by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Haley said that if countries focus solely on parts of the plan that they do not like, "we would return back to the failed status quo of the last fifty years with no prospects for change."

But she said, "I assure you there is a lot for both sides to like."

Her comments were met with a measured response from European states, who said they "would like to reiterate once more and emphasize the EU's strong continued commitment to the internationally agreed parameters" -- which include a two-state solution along the 1967 armistice lines and a settlement of the status of Jerusalem, claimed by both sides as their capital.

"Any peace plan that fails to recognize these internationally agreed parameters would risk being condemned to failure," the EU states said in a statement.

The Trump administration angered many in the diplomatic community when it moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem this year, prompting the Palestinians to break off talks with Washington.

Short link: