“Giant step” towards peace

United Nations: UN chief Antonio Guterres said the global body remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements, a day after US President Donald Trump unveiled his Middle East peace plan aimed at settling the longstanding dispute between the two sides.

Standing along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House, Trump proposed a two-state solution and said no Israelis or Palestinians would be uprooted from their homes. Describing it as historic and a “giant step” towards peace, he said that under his vision, Jerusalem “will remain Israel’s undivided, very important capital.” He proposed Palestinian capital in Eastern Jerusalem and that US will set up its embassy there.

The Secretary-General has seen the announcement of the United States plan for the Middle East. The position of the United Nations on the two-State solution has been defined, throughout the years, by relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions by which the Secretariat is bound, “a statement issued by UN Secretary-General Guterres” spokesman said.

The world body remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of United Nations resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements and realizing the vision of two States Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within recognised borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines.

Trump said “the plan calls for a four-year freeze in Israeli settlement activity and doubling of Palestinian territory. Asserting that his peace plan will more than double the size of Palestinian territory, Trump said that Palestinian people “deserve a far better life” than being trapped in a cycle of terrorism and violence.” “My vision presents a realistic two-state solution,” he said. “Together we can bring a new dawn in the Middle East,” Trump said as he urged the Palestinians to accept his deal and bring peace in the region.

Calling it a “historic opportunity” for the Palestinians to achieve an independent state, Trump said he has written to Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on the matter. No Palestinian official was present at the launch. The ambassadors from three Arab nations — Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — were at the White House.

Netanyahu hailed Trump’s plan as “historic day” for Israel. He compared Trump’s Plan with the day to May 14, 1948, when the then President Harry Truman became the first world leader to recognise the State of Israel. The plan, he said, will strike the ‘right balance’ where other plans have failed.  Netanyahu said that he is now willing to negotiate peace with the Palestinians ‘on the basis’ of the US peace.