Trump appears to have enlisted a new Israeli-Palestinian peace envoy: Vladimir Putin

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian President Vladimir Putin
(Image credit: Maxim Shipenkov/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S.-Israeli relationship hit a rare rocky patch under President Trump on Monday when the U.S. flatly denied Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's assertion that he had been discussing annexing part of the West Bank with the Trump administration "for some time now." The White House apparently privately demanded and publicly received a walking-back of that claim, which Netanyahu aides said the prime minister made in a meeting with a faction of his Likud party. "The United States and Israel have never discussed such a proposal, and the president's focus remains squarely on his Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative," White House spokesman Josh Raffel said.

Trump's Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, spearheaded by son-in-law Jared Kushner and envoy Jason Greenblatt, is stalled after Trump announced U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, prompting the Palestinian Authority to disengage. Now, Trump appears to have added a new Mideast peace envoy: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In Moscow on Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated to Putin that "from now on we refuse to cooperate in any form with the U.S. in its status of a mediator, as we stand against its actions." Putin told Abbas that he had "just spoken over the phone" with Trump, and "naturally, we spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli settlement," according to Russia's official TASS news agency. "I would like to convey to you his best wishes," Putin told Abbas. Abbas said the Palestinians would be willing to participate in an international peace conference in which the U.S. was just one player, along with Russia, the European Union, Britain, China, France, Germany, and Arab states.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us