If the Arab summit opening in Amman Wednesday, March 9 meets the expectations of Washington and Jerusalem, the session will ratify a pivotal initiative for promoting an historic peace process between the Arab world and Israel. This effort, which matured through five months of mostly secret diplomacy, was launched by Donald Trump in November, shortly after he was elected US President. (The Amman venue was later changed due to security considerations)
The official Arab summit agenda covers the disastrous war crises preying on the Arab world in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, as well as economic issues. But the rulers will also quietly discuss off-stage a proposal brought by Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi to embark on steps destined to lead to peaceful relations between the moderate Arab regimes and Israel and exponentially to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
DEBKAfile’s sources in Washington and Jerusalem report exclusively that President Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman crafted this proposal at the White House on March 14, during the prince’s trip to Washington. It was the high point of their talks, although they also aired and reached agreement on the war crises in Syria and Yemen, as well as America’s next steps against Iran on both those fronts and in the Gulf region.
President Trump arranged a dinner in honor of the Saudi king’s son that was attended by Vice President Mike Pence, the White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, the president’s strategic adviser Steve Bannon and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
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