News / Middle East

International Negotiators Meet, Little Progress on Mideast Peace

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) confers with his Foreign Minister Riad Malki (L) and Riyad Mansour (R), Palestinian envoy to the United Nations (file photo).
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) confers with his Foreign Minister Riad Malki (L) and Riyad Mansour (R), Palestinian envoy to the United Nations (file photo).
Scott Bobb

International diplomats seeking to re-start the stalled negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have held separate meetings with the two parties.  

Delegates from the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States met separately Monday with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators but expectations of a breakthrough in the stalled peace talks remained low.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas's political adviser, Nemr Hamad, indicated there was a willingness to discuss a framework for resuming the talks.

He said, "We are focusing on two issues. The first issue is the borders of a Palestinian state along the July 4, 1967, lines. The second issue is security. If there is progress on these issues, the Palestinian team is ready to go to the negotiating table."

The Israeli negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho, told Israeli radio his team was willing to talk to the Palestinians anytime and anyplace without conditions. Israel has accused the Palestinians of raising more demands as a condition of returning to the table.

The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said in a statement following his meeting that the Palestinians are ready to discuss all issues once Israel proves its commitment by freezing all construction of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The talks broke down 14 months ago after Israel resumed settlement construction following a 10-month freeze.

Settlement construction has since expanded.

The international mediators known as the Mideast Quartet two months ago called on the two sides to submit proposals within three months on territory and security and to commit to reaching a time frame for direct talks by the end of next year.

The negotiators reportedly proposed, as a way to ease the deadlock, that the Palestinians drop their demand for a settlement freeze in exchange for Israeli concessions on the borders of a two-state solution.

Erekat's statement Monday said Israeli settlements and the two-state solution could not be linked "were mutually exclusive".

Partially as a result of the deadlock, the Palestinians in September requested state membership in the United Nations. Palestinian officials recently acknowledged that they did not have the nine votes necessary in the U.N. Security Council for their application to succeed.

The U.S. government, as a permanent council member, has said it would veto any such proposal if it were to pass.

The Palestinians two weeks ago were admitted by a large margin as a full member of the U.N. cultural organization, UNESCO. This brought a cutoff of U.S. funding for the organization in accordance with a long-standing U.S. law.

Israel also cut its funding for UNESCO. In addition it announced an expansion of two settlements around Jerusalem and the suspension of $100 million per month in tax payments to the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli Cabinet on Monday voted to maintain the cutoff.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs