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Qatar says US needs Palestinians on board for Middle East peace plan

Palestinians hold Qatar and Palestine flags during a demonstration in support of Qatar, in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 14 June 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians hold Qatari flags during a demonstration in support of Qatar, in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 14 June 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Qatar said on Sunday that there was a disconnect between the Palestinians and the United States over a US blueprint aimed at ending the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, warning that a solution could not be imposed on Palestinians, Reuters reports.

The US blueprint, driven by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser, is seen by Palestinians, and by some Arab officials and politicians, as a plan to finish off the Palestinian cause.

“As far as we see, right now there is a disconnect between the Palestinians and the US,” Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said told reporters in London.

“Our position remains very firm: We are going to support any plan that the Palestinians are willing to accept.”

Kushner, who has been trying to put together a peace plan, said in an interview broadcast last week that the Palestinians deserve “self-determination”, but stopped short of backing Palestinian statehood and expressed uncertainty over their ability to govern themselves.

Read: Trump to host Qatar emir at White House

While its precise outlines have yet to be revealed, Palestinian and Arab sources who have been briefed on the draft plan say Kushner has jettisoned the two-state solution – the long-standing US and international formula that envisages an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza.

“It cannot be a solution like, sort of, imposed on the Palestinians – no country in the Arab world can accept that,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“If the plan is rejected by one of the parties it means the plan is either unfair or just not realistic,” he said. “The best scenario is either that both parties accept it or that both parties reject it.”

Sheikh Mohammed said there would not be a pledging conference. He praised the economic part of the Kushner plan as being “wonderful” but said it needed a sound political foundation.

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Asia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineQatarUS
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