Qatar says U.S. needs Palestinians on board for Middle East peace plan
Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, holds a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not pictured) at the Sheraton Grand in the Qatari capital Doha, Qatar January 13, 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Reuters/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) - Qatar said on Sunday that there was a disconnect between the Palestinians and the United States over a U.S. blueprint aimed at ending the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, warning that a solution could not be imposed on Palestinians.
The U.S. 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 U.S.,” 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.
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 U.S. 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.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Kevin Liffey and William James)
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