News / Middle East

Obama, Abbas to Discuss Mideast Peace

Palestinians shout slogans to support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama Monday, Tubas, West Bank, March 16, 2014.
Palestinians shout slogans to support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama Monday, Tubas, West Bank, March 16, 2014.
Robert Berger
Troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks take center stage Monday at the White House when President Barack Obama with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

A deadline is looming at the end of April for a framework peace agreement.  The proposed framework would cover the thorniest issues of the conflict: the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Jewish settlements, security and the final borders of a Palestinian state.

The United States is pressing both sides to compromise, but expectations are low and gaps are wide.

Palestinian spokesman Ahmed Assaf says his side will accept nothing less than a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel says the '67 lines are indefensible and it has vowed not to compromise on Jerusalem, saying the entire city is its eternal capital.

Another stumbling block is Israel’s demand to be recognized as a Jewish state.  Abbas has refused, saying that would harm the rights of Israeli Arabs as well as the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in Israel.

So after more than seven months of U.S.-mediated peace talks, there is growing pessimism and acrimony.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the Palestinian president is "not a partner" for a final peace agreement that would end the conflict, adding that Abbas is “a partner who wants to take but does not want to give.”

President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House two weeks ago and urged him to make “hard decisions” for peace; and he will have the same message for Abbas.  The United States hopes a framework deal will prevent the collapse of the peace process and enable negotiations on a final agreement to continue until the end of the year.

Palestinian Leader to Visit White House:

Palestinian Leader Visits White Housei
X
Luis Ramirez
March 15, 2014 1:09 PM
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits the White House Monday. Abbas is to meet with President Barack Obama as the U.S. works to come up with a framework for a Mideast peace agreement by the end of April. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid