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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's foreign minister said an announcement on the proposed annexation of occupied West Bank land was unlikely on Wednesday, the start-date set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government for discussing such a move.

"It seems unlikely to me that this will happen today," Gabi Ashkenazi, a member of the centrist Blue and White party partnered up with Netanyahu's conservative Likud, told Israel's Army Radio.

"I reckon there will be nothing today, regarding (the extention of Israeli) sovereignty."

In a sign of rifts within the coalition over the timing of any unilateral annexation move, which has been fiercely opposed by the Palestinians and some world powers, Ashkenazi referred further questions on the matter by the interviewer to Netanyahu.

The premier, after meeting U.S. envoys on Tuesday to discuss annexation within the framework of President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan, said such talks would continue for several days - another playing-down of the July 1 start-date.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Michael Perry)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Breaking News : Six former foreign ministers of Peru, against the United States candidacy for the IDB

Breaking News —

Lima, Jul 5 . .- Six former foreign ministers of Peru expressed this Sunday their “deep concern and disagreement” over the United States’ candidacy to preside over the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for breaking the “unwritten norm” that a Latin American would always be at the forefront of the organization.

Former Peruvian foreign ministers Allan Wagner, Diego García Sayán, Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros, Oscar Maúrtua de Romaña, Rafael Roncagliolo and Eda Rivas support a joint statement sent to the Efe Agency where they urge the rest of the IDB members not to support the White House candidate , Mauricio Claver-Carone.

They joined the criticism already expressed last month by the former presidents of Chile, Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006); from Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2003); from Uruguay, Julio María Sanguinetti (1985-1990 and 1995-2000); from Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018), and from Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo (1994-2000).

Like these ex-presidents, the former ministers of Peru recalled the tacit pact to which the then-US president, Dwight David Eisenhower (1953-1961), committed to the United Nations in 1958, so that the IDB headquarters would be in Washington in exchange for that a Latin American always presided over it.

This agreement has since been respected by all presidents of the United States until the current occupant of the White House, Donald Trump, proposed Claver-Carone, its main adviser for the Americas, for the position.


The former Peruvian foreign ministers denounced that Claver-Carone’s candidacy is not just a mere alteration of protocol, “it is a break, with obvious political consequences, in the pursuit of one of the most effective instruments for hemispheric coexistence.” They predicted that it will not bring good times for the entity.

“We respectfully urge the other partners of the IDB to oppose the action taken by the United States Government, remembering that alternatives from the region have been proposed in a decision that claims to be made with weight and realism,” they said.

Former members of the Palacio de Torre Tagle, headquarters of the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, believe that Claver-Carone’s candidacy “builds another wall in the way of understanding the relationship of the United States with the rest of the” American continent.

“It is still time to make see, with arguments and determination, the high inconvenience of accepting the imposition intended by the Government of the United States,” warned the former foreign ministers.

“It is not time to further complicate the difficult episode that Latin America and the Caribbean face due to the pandemic and its very serious economic and social consequences,” they added.

Likewise, all six recalled that the IDB has performed since 1960 “with diligence and high understanding of the conditions in the region and the diversity in its development.”

For this they praised the performance of their different presidents, among them the Chilean Felipe Herrera (1960-1970), the Mexican Antonio Ortiz Mena (1970-1988), the Uruguayan Enrique Iglesias (1988-2005) and now the Colombian Luis Alberto Moreno , who will leave office in September after fifteen years in it.


A day after Trump announced his candidacy, Claver-Carone said on June 17 in statements to Efe that he had won the support of fifteen countries in the Latin American region, which in principle will allow him to win the elections, because Washington controls the 30 % of voting power in the IDB.

Among the countries that have publicly announced that they will vote for this American lawyer of Cuban origin are Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Honduras and Haiti.

Claver-Carone is known in Washington for his old blog “Capitol Hill Cubans”, where he fiercely criticized Washington’s policy of opening up to Cuba and wagered against the government of President Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, an attitude that helped him connect with the hard wing of the White House.

Although the United States says it has the support of 15 countries, there are alternatives to Claver-Carone that try to bring together support from other IDB members, such as former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla or Argentine politician and lawyer Gustavo Béliz.


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