State Dept. contradicts Netanyahu: No annexation plan raised with Pompeo

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
State Dept. contradicts Netanyahu: No annexation plan raised with Pompeo
“It wasn’t a topic of discussion,” the official said in a press briefing
By OMRI NAHMIAS, HERB KEINON
DECEMBER 7, 2019

The US State Department’s top Middle East official David Schenker said on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not present a plan to annex the Jordan Valley during a meeting Thursday with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, contradicting what Netanyahu himself said. Responding to a reporter’s question, Schenker – the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs – said that while the Netanyahu-Pompeo meeting was a one-on-one, he spoke to Pompeo and said, “I can tell you that there was no annexation plan, full or partial, for any part of the West Bank” presented during the meeting.

Schenker added that the US government position has long been “that the ultimate disposition of territory is to be determined between the parties.” This is at odds with what Netanyahu told reporters in Lisbon on Thursday after meeting Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa. “We discussed the issue of annexation, but we’re not talking about timetables yet,” he said. “These things are much easier when you have a government.” The Prime Minister’s Office had no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.

Netanyahu has been waving the possibility of getting the US to agree to annexation of the Jordan Valley as a reason for the need for him to remain in power for the next number of months and work this out with the US Administration, as well as a possible security pact with the US. Schenker’s comment came just a day after a State Department official said that – contrary to what was reported in the Israeli media – Pompeo did not discuss possible normalization with Israel in his meetings with the Moroccan government on Thursday, a day after he met Netanyahu in Lisbon. “It wasn’t a topic of discussion,” the official said in a press briefing following Pompeo’s visit to Rabat. The official said he read about normalization in Israeli media, “and it struck me as just another Israeli leak to the press of their own issue. But it was coincident with our trip, but it wasn’t on our agenda.”

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/US-Netanyahu-didnt-present-Jordan-valley-annexation-plan-in-Pompeo-meeting-610180
 
Top