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Middle East Peace Envoy Martin Indyk Quits

  • VOA News

FILE - Martin Indyk speaks at the State Department in Washington.

FILE - Martin Indyk speaks at the State Department in Washington.

Martin Indyk, the United States’ special envoy overseeing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, has resigned.

The U.S. State Department on Friday confirmed Indyk’s resignation, which had been anticipated after peace talks this spring reached a stalemate.

Indyk, 62, will return to the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, where he has been vice president and director of foreign policy.

Indyk – who had served as ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration and as assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs – was appointed as a special envoy last July.

Indyk’s deputy, Frank Lowenstein, will serve as the interim envoy.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had announced Indyk's appointment in tandem with reviving peace efforts, which had been stalled for three years. Kerry set a goal of reaching the framework for a peace accord within nine months, but the negotiations failed in April.

Israel left the peace process because of the deal with Hamas. The Palestinians were angered over continued Israeli settlement activity in areas they want as part of a future state.

Kerry, in a statement, praised Indyk as a tenacious diplomat who for decades has sought peace for the region and who "played a vital role in the progress that was made in the negotiations."

"The United States remains committed not just to the cause of peace, but to resuming the process when the parties find a path back to serious negotiations," Kerry said.

'A daunting and humbling challenge'

In accepting the appointment last year, Indyk mentioned his experience as a student in Jerusalem during “the dark days” of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when he witnessed how former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger "brokered a ceasefire that ended the war and paved the way for peace between Israel and Egypt."

He said hoped to do likewise, expressing gratitude to Kerry and President Barack Obama for being entrusted with "a daunting and humbling challenge" of shepherding negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press and Reuters.

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