News

    Rice Says Peace Talks on Track for Deal by Yearend

    Multimedia

    Audio
    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrapped up a three-day trip to the Middle East saying peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are moving forward, but Israel needs to stop its settlement activities. VOA's Jim Teeple has details from our Jerusalem bureau.

    Condoleezza Rice ended three days of talks with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders saying Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are on track to produce a peace deal by the end of the year. Rice spoke at a news conference in Amman, Jordan with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

    "I know that your teams have a lot of hard work ahead of them, but I have to say that I find very impressive the work that is being done and the seriousness of the process, and I think it is all moving in the right direction," she said. 

    In one of her strongest comments on the issue, Rice also called for Israel to stop building settlements on land it seized in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

    "As to settlement activity, we continue to state America's position that settlement activity should stop - that its expansion should stop," said Rice.

    In his remarks, Mr. Abbas said he also fully expects to reach a peace agreement with Israel by the end of this year.

    Mr. Abbas says he is optimistic about reaching a deal because of what he says is the personal involvement of President Bush in the process, and because Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are working extremely hard to deal with the core issues of the conflict. Mr. Abbas says he will meet with Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on April 7.

    Earlier, Secretary Rice met with Israeli leaders and with the heads of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem municipality unveiled plans to build 600 new homes in a West Bank settlement on the outskirts of the city.

    A key coalition partner in the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the religious Shas Party, also announced it had received approval from Mr. Olmert to build an additional 800 homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood.

    Following his talks with Secretary Rice, Mr. Olmert said that Israel will continue to build in East Jerusalem neighborhoods it intends to keep in an eventual peace deal with the Palestinians.

    "The settlement issue is one of the core issues that are being negotiated as we speak here. This is one of the core issues to the conflict that is being negotiated. I would say the following; this government has done more than any previous Israeli government to bring under control settlement construction in the West Bank," said Mark Regev, Mr. Olmert's spokesman.

    A report from the Israeli activist group Peace Now says Israel has approved the construction of 1,700 new homes in the West Bank since last November's Annapolis, Maryland Mideast Peace conference.

    Meanwhile, Israeli military authorities dismantled a key checkpoint that restricted access to the West Bank city of Jericho.

    On Sunday Israeli authorities pledged to take down about 50 roadblocks in the West Bank and ease restrictions for some Palestinians who need to pass through Israeli-controlled territory. In return Palestinians agreed to boost security measures to control militancy in the West Bank.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora