FILE - In this March 25, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump smiles at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, after signing a proclamation at the White House in Washington.
FILE - In this March 25, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump smiles at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, after signing a proclamation at the White House in Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he plans to release his long delayed Middle East peace plan before hosting Israeli leaders at the White House next Tuesday.

“It’s a great plan. It’s a plan that really would work,” Trump told reporters as he flew to Florida for a Republican Party meeting.

Trump will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz next week. The two will face off in March for the third Israeli general election in a year, with Netanyahu struggling to hold on to power after his indictment for alleged corruption.

FILE - Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, speaks at the President's residence, in Jerusalem, Oct. 23, 2019.

Trump said he is surprised and delighted that the two bitter political rivals will come to the White House at the same time, calling it “unheard of.”

“They both would like to do the deal. They want to see peace,” Trump said.

The Palestinians were not invited to the White House and have rejected the U.S. plan before any details have been made public.

Palestinians are angry the Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and moved the U.S. embassy there in 2018. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their capital for a future state. They also are upset at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent declaration that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are legal.

Trump told reporters that U.S. officials spoke briefly to the Palestinians and said they have a “lot of incentive” to embrace a peace plan.

“I’m sure they maybe will react negatively at first, but it’s actually very positive for them,” he added.

The Trump administration unveiled the economic portion of its plan in June, which calls for $50 billion in international investment in the Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab states over 10 years.

Palestinian officials rejected it as an insult, saying the West can’t simply throw money at them while ignoring a two-state solution.

The White House has been working on a Middle East peace plan since Trump became president three years ago but has postponed releasing the details in part because of the Israeli political situation.
 

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