White House denies Lauder sent by Trump to meet Abbas

White House denies Israeli TV report that Trump had sent WJC President to convince Abbas to resume peace talks.

The White House on Thursday denied an Israeli TV report which said that
President Donald Trump had sent World Jewish Congress President Ronald
Lauder to convince Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders to return to the
negotiating table with Israel.

Responding to the report, National Security Council spokesman Garrett
Marquis told Arutz Sheva, "The report in Channel 2 is false. Ambassador
Lauder is a friend of the President but he was not sent by the White
House to meet with the Palestinians on the President’s behalf — secretly
or otherwise."

The report claimed that Lauder was sent by Trump to meet PA chairman
Mahmoud Abbas. Lauder, said the report, urged Abbas to work with the
Trump administration and told him he would be positively surprised by
the Trump administration’s yet to be unveiled peace plan.

It was also reported that Lauder met with Abbas “behind Israel’s back”
and without the Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser, and Jason
Greenblatt, the White House Special Representative for International
Negotiations, who are in charge of the peace plan.

Abbas and other senior PA officials have been boycotting the US ever
since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last
December. They argue that, due to this move, the US is no longer an
honest broker for peace talks.

The PA has already rejected the peace plan before it has even been made public.

While details of the peace plan, which has been dubbed the “Deal of the
Century”, have yet to be released, Greenblatt revealed in an interview
with the Yediot Aharonot newspaper this week that the plan includes a
provision for Palestinian Arab unity.

"Let’s be clear about something: Gaza and the West Bank have been
separated for 10 years, not only physically, but politically—between the
Palestinian Authority and Hamas. It’s absurd to deny that reality," he

"In contrast, our peace plan intends to bring them together. Make no
mistake; we are in this to help all Palestinians, in both the West Bank
and Gaza. The type of disinformation being spread by some parties who
have not even seen the plan yet wish to be spoilers does nothing to
benefit ordinary Palestinian lives.”

Greenblatt did not reveal further details of the White House peace plan,
which has yet to be finalized, but implored all parties involved to
withhold judgment until the specifics of the plan are released.


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