Netanyahu ready to ‘consider’ long-awaited US peace plan

Netanyahu and Bolton (R) visit an old army outpost overlooking the Jordan Valley between the Israeli city of Beit Shean and the West Bank city of Jericho.

:: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he is ready to “consider” a US plan to resolve his country’s long-running conflict with the Palestinians.

“We will consider the American proposal in a fair and open way,” he said as he hosted US national security adviser John Bolton.

The Palestinian leadership has already rejected the plan, citing US “bias” after the White House recognized bitterly divided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“I don’t understand how the Palestinians rejected the plan even before knowing what it contained,” said Netanyahu.

“That’s not how you move forward,” he added.

He was talking during a visit to the Jordan valley, Israeli-occupied territory he has pledged never to give up in a peace deal.

“To those who say that to obtain peace, Israel must leave the Jordan Valley, I say: it will not bring peace – it will bring war and terror,” he said.

“Israel’s presence here must continue for Israel’s security and the security of all,” Netanyahu added.

Bolton was being hosted by the Israeli leader for talks on “regional security,” according to the White House.

His visit came amid a tense standoff between the US and Iran following a series of tanker attacks and the shooting down of an American drone.

The White House is set next week to present details for the first time of its long-awaited peace initiative being formulated by US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.

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