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US Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt Leaving Trump Administration

The resignation Thursday of US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy is an "admission of failure" for the White House's much-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, a senior Palestinian official said.

Greenblatt originally meant to join the administration only for two years to "analyze the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, to draft a realistic and implementable vision to help solve the conflict and to work on developing relationships between Israel and the region", according to the senior administration official.

'His dedication to Israel and to seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians won't be forgotten. Instead, his role had been to draft the plan, and officials said that has now been finished.

The Trump administration has said it intends to release its proposal after the upcoming Israeli elections on 17 September. The plan already is facing rejection by Palestinian officials, who object to strengthening ties between the US and Israel.

Greenblatt has been a player in all of Trump's moves aimed at bolstering USA support for Israel, such as the United States recognition of both Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

US special envoy Jason Greenblatt addressing the United Nations Security Council in NY. "I am incredibly grateful to have been part of a team that drafted a vision for peace".

Jason Greenblatt the US envoy for worldwide negotiations, comments on what the future may hold for potential peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The former real estate lawyer, who worked at the Trump Organization prior to joining the administration, is returning to the private sector, Trump announced in a Thursday tweet.

Channel 13 also reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Greenblatt on Thursday, praising him for "his work for peace and security and for speaking the truth about Israel in front of all those who bash it".

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The Palestinian reaction was dismissive.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with Jason Greenblatt, Donald Trump's special representative for worldwide negotiations, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on March 14, 2017.

"Jason has done a tremendous job leading the efforts to develop an economic and political vision for a long sought after peace in the Middle East", Kushner said.

The only part of the Kushner-Greenblatt scheme that has been made public was an economic "workshop" in Bahrain, which was meant to drum up interest in investment in the future of the Palestinian territories. "What I do know is that it won't make any difference to what is not really a plan - let's call it a vision - because there is no chance of it going anywhere".

The low-key Greenblatt stepped up his public engagement ahead of the announcement of the economic plan, but his comments were perhaps most notable for criticizing Palestinian leaders, particularly chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, on Twitter. "He will be missed", Trump tweeted.

In contrast to its Democratic and Republican predecessors, the Trump White House has stopped promoting a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, and avoided condemning Israeli settlement expansion on occupied lands.

The Jerusalem move, followed by cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, prompted the Palestinians to sever most ties with the U.S.

The White House peace effort initially operated largely in isolation from the rest of the USA foreign policy apparatus.

Anticipating Greenblatt's departure, the administration's peace team has merged with the office of Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.



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