President Donald Trump’s top national security aides believe the roadmap to Middle East peace has been traced on a physical map they have hanging in the White House marked by power plants, gas terminals and ambitious pipeline projects.
According to three senior administration officials, that map – declassified and obtained by McClatchy – has motivated members of the National Security Council to prioritize the formation of a gas forum in the Eastern Mediterranean that would simultaneously boost and entangle the economies of several countries that have been at odds for decades.
Fascination with regional energy resources has formed the basis of an organizing principle for policymaking among key members of Trump’s inner circle, who similarly view oil and gas needs as critical to their strategies toward Russia and the European Union, according to White House and Defense Department sources.
It is a rare instance of continuity between the Trump and Obama administrations. The map was first created by State Department cartographers and energy diplomats working at the direction of former Vice President Joe Biden, according to its architect, Amos Hochstein, former special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs.
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