Trump's Mideast envoy meets UN council

United Nations (United States) (AFP) –


President Donald Trump's Middle East advisor Jason Greenblatt met with the UN Security Council on Friday but gave no details of a much-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, diplomats said.

"There were no details," Kuwaiti Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi told reporters after the closed-door meeting. "There was a discussion from our side about the plan."

The plan is expected to be released after the Israeli elections in April, but the Palestinians have already rejected it as biased in favor of Israel.

The Palestinians have refused to talk to the Trump administration since the US president recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.

They see the eastern part of the disputed city as the capital of their future state and have said Washington's pro-Israel bias meant the US could no longer be the main mediator in stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

The council also discussed, at the request of Kuwait and Indonesia, Israel's decision to withhold tax transfers from the Palestinian Authority over its payments to prisoners jailed for attacks on Israelis.

"This is Palestinian money. They shouldn't withhold it," said the Kuwaiti ambassador.

Diplomats said the United States was a lone voice in defense of Israel at the closed-door council meeting, with the Europeans and others arguing that the payments should resume.

Greenblatt did not answer questions from reporters after the meeting.