US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt met with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani on Wednesday to discuss the Trump administration’s upcoming peace plan.
He tweeted that he also met with Qatar’s Gaza emissary to discuss the need for humanitarian support for Gaza.
The visit comes two days after the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem and in the wake of mass protests that led to the death of more than sixty Palestinians in Gaza.
Greenblatt recently condemned Hamas rule in Gaza and argued that “Palestinians in Gaza need to be reunited with their West Bank counterparts under a single, responsible Palestinian Authority leadership.”
He has now published those comments in Arabic as well, seeking a larger consensus in the region for a new push regarding Gaza.
The full details of the Trump peace plan have only been hinted at, but Gaza is obviously key. Hamas has not gained anything from eight weeks of mass protests, with more than 100 killed and thousands injured.
The US message will now be that this shows just what a failure Hamas is.
Qatar plays a key role here because it has spent hundreds of millions in aid to Gaza over the years and enjoyed amicable relations with Hamas. Qatar’s leverage in any agreement with the PA, Hamas and regional states is seen as key.
Qatar also wants US help to resolve its breakdown in relations with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain. Bridging these regional discussions to get humanitarian aid to Gaza and work on a peace deal is the next step.