News / Middle East

Kerry, Abbas Meet in Paris on Framework for Two-State Solution

Kerry, Abbas Meet in Paris on Framework for Two-State Solutioni
X
February 20, 2014 5:21 AM
John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have met in Paris as part of the Obama administration's effort to craft a framework for negotiations on a Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the French capital.

Kerry, Abbas Meet in Paris on Framework for Two-State Solution

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are meeting in Paris as part of Obama administration efforts to craft a framework for what an eventual Israeli-Palestinian peace accord might look like.

U.S. officials say Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meet at an important moment in negotiations on a two state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as Kerry works to narrow differences over the boundaries of a Palestinian state and over the status of East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as their capital.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has questioned the seriousness of Palestinian leaders at a time when there are divisions within his own coalition government.  Former U.S. ambassador Philip Wilcox says that makes finding agreement on a two-state solution even harder.

"Nations generally make peace when they believe they have a shared interest in peace.  I am not persuaded that the current Israeli coalition under Benjamin Netanyahu believes they have a common interest with the Palestinians in making peace," said  Wilcox.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has little incentive to compromise, says American University professor Hillary Mann Leverett, pursuing instead what she calls a "Fortress Israel" approach.

"There is no incentive for a resolution that would actually give the Palestinians something.  The incentive is to continue to build Fortress Israel.  And part of the incentive to build Fortress Israel is to continue to have these threats.  To have Iran as a threat.  To have the Palestinians as a threat, but over there," said Leverett.

President Abbas is facing internal opposition to a peace deal with Israelis in negotiations that appear less about reaching compromise and more about winning Washington's support, says Foundation for Middle East Peace research director Geoffrey Aronson.

"It seems from the outside, in contrast that the discussions over the last nine months have been essentially bilateral discussions between one of the parties and the United States, rather than between the parties themselves, " said Aronson.

Washington leading these negotiations gives the Obama administration credibility on other regional issues, says Hillary Mann Leverett.

"Strategically for the United States it allows other countries like the Saudis, like the Egyptians to partner with us in ways that would otherwise be impossible for them.  Because if we were just supporting what the Israelis are doing in the West Bank and Gaza, King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia could not give Secretary of State Kerry the time of day," she said.

While in the French capital Wednesday, Kerry also discussed the Middle East peace process with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who said "all final status issues touch the very heart of Jordanian interests."

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid