News / Middle East

Israelis, Palestinians Dealing with 'Core Issues' of Peace Accord

Israeli and Palestinian leaders meet in Jerusalem Wednesday for a second day of U.S.-brokered direct talks on a peace accord.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says they have begun to grapple with the core issues of a two-state settlement of the Middle East conflict.

Obama administration officials are not making any claims of tangible progress, so far, on final-status issues such as Jerusalem, refugees and the borders of an envisaged Palestinian state.

But they say they are impressed with the seriousness with which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are approaching the direct talks begun in Washington earlier this month.

The two leaders and Clinton met Tuesday in the Egyptian Red Sea resort, Sharm el-Sheikh. They continue the dialogue, late Wednesday, at the Israeli prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, which Mr. Abbas has not visited since the previous talks broke down almost two years ago.

At a morning meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Clinton called Mr. Netanyahu a leader who understands how important it is to move forward toward peace, and that Mr. Abbas shares that determination.

"I have sat with these two men individually and together.  I have listened to them talk candidly and forcefully.  They are getting down to business and they have begun to grapple with the core issues that can only be resolved through face to face negotiations," Clinton said. "I believe they are serious about reaching an agreement that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security."

Clinton says the fundamental reality for Israel is that the status quo is unsustainable and that it needs a two-state solution with the Palestinians to remain a secure and democratic Jewish state.

Mr. Peres, a former prime minister whose role as Israeli head of state is mainly ceremonial, says the direct talks have gone much better than all the "skeptics and pessimists" had expected.

"I don't believe that you can solve the problems in one or two, or three, meetings.  But is was an opening.  It has a continuation," Peres said.  "And, my impression, talking to our own prime minister and some of the leaders, the sense is:  let's do what can be done for the better and easier and earlier for all the parties concerned.  I think you have to act with great dynamism and determination."

The talks face an early hurdle with the expiration, late this month, of a 10-month Israeli moratorium on most settlement construction in the West Bank.  Palestinians have said they would quit the negotiations if building resumes.

Clinton and other U.S. officials have urged that the moratorium be extended and that Palestinians take steps that would help Mr. Netanyahu reconcile members of his right-leaning coalition to an extension.

The secretary of state ends her visit to the region Thursday in Jordan, while U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell goes to Syria to urge a resumption of Israel-Syrian peace contacts.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid