Haley: Trump's Mideast Peace Plan 'Getting Close'
UNITED NATIONS —
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Tuesday that she has read the Trump administration's much-anticipated Middle East peace plan. And while it is "getting close," it will not be rolled out later this month during the U.N. General Assembly, as some had predicted.
"I can tell you that Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt have done unbelievably detailed work in it," Haley said of the two presidential advisers tasked with coming up with a plan to resolve one of the world's most intractable crises. "I have read the plan. It is thoroughly done. It is well-thought-out from both sides — the Palestinians and the Israelis."
Haley, who is also a member of President Donald Trump's Cabinet, said she couldn't "say enough good things" about the proposal and warned that "there are a lot of false statements" circulating about it. She added that the proposal would only work if both sides would hear it, and urged the international community to put particular pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to come to the table.
"For the good of the Palestinian people, the region, the international community, we have to put pressure on Abbas and say it's time. It's time for a better life for the Palestinians," Haley said. "And only he can deliver that."
The Trump administration has seen its relations go from bad to worse with the Palestinian Authority, peaking in December over the White House's decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Palestinians have also been infuriated with the administration's decision to cut off funding to the U.N. agency that assists Palestinian refugees and efforts to redefine who is a Palestinian refugee.
Haley told reporters at a news conference marking the United States' monthlong presidency of the U.N. Security Council that Trump would chair a meeting of the council on Sept. 26 on Iran. It will take place on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly leaders' week.
"It's hard to find a place that has conflict where Iran isn't in the middle of it, and we think that's a problem," Haley told reporters. "They've been ignored and given a pass for too long."
Haley said it is time that Iran explains its actions in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
"That's the biggest reason for this meeting — is that the world is watching," she said. Haley added that the administration would like to see Iran come into the mainstream and "be a valid country that wants to do good in the world."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be in New York for leaders' week. Under the rules of the Security Council, he could attend the session. Haley said she would not have a problem with that.
Earlier, Russian deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said in a council meeting that he hoped the discussion of Iran would take place within the framework of the Iran nuclear deal, which the council endorsed after it was signed in 2015. The Trump administration received international criticism when it withdrew from the agreement in May.
"We very much hope that there will be views voiced and aspects voiced in connection with the U.S.'s withdrawal from the JCPOA," Polyanskiy said, referring to the deal by its acronym.