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Why Putin needs to be part of Trump-Netanyahu peace plan

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should learn from past mistakes and offer Russian President Vladimir Putin a role and a place in the Middle East, alongside US President Donald Trump.
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Much has been said and written about the absence of “the bride” (why not "the groom"?) from the Jan. 28 White House launch ceremony of the “deal of the century” for Israeli-Palestinian peace. However, in addition to the absence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, all the sponsors of the peace process in the past decades — the states that gave the Israeli-Palestinian agreements international validation and funding — also stayed away from the “historic” event. The absence of Russian President Vladimir Putin — the most important foreign player in the Middle East arena — was particularly glaring. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya told reporters several hours prior to the event that the United States had not consulted with Russia on the plan and had not even briefed it on its content.

Accused No. 1, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, against whom an indictment on three charges of corruption was filed with the Jerusalem District Court just hours before the East Room ceremony, prolonged his trip abroad by flying from Washington to Moscow, before returning to Israel. He did not fly to Moscow to seek President Vladimir Putin’s blessing for the US plan. He took the trouble to head there in order to offer a ride at the taxpayer’s expense to a young Israeli woman, Naama Issachar, convicted in Russia of drug smuggling. Putin had pardoned her just hours before Netanyahu’s arrival.

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