News / Middle East

Quartet Urges Extension of Israeli Settlement Moratorium

Major world powers meeting at the United Nations Tuesday urged Israel to extend its moratorium on most West Bank settlement building. The international Middle East Quartet voiced strong support for the new set of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that began this month.

The international Middle East Quartet has added its voice to those urging Israel to extend the self-declared moratorium on West Bank settlement activity that is due to expire at the end of the month.

The four-power grouping, consisting of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States, was formed in 2002 to advance the regional peace process and issued a road map to a peace accord a year later.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly warned his delegation will quit the U.S.-brokered direct talks unless the 10-month old moratorium is extended.

In a joint statement after their meeting at U.N. headquarters, the quartet principals including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the commendable moratorium has had a positive impact on peace efforts and should be continued.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was more emphatic in a talk with reporters, saying all 27 European Union countries are exerting diplomatic pressure to get an extension.

"We are against the settlements," said Bernard Kouchner. "And really, we press and pray our Israeli friends to stop, to follow to go on moratorium and to stop settlements. We need that. Otherwise, the Palestinians were very clear they want to stop the talks, the negotiations, and the dialogue. And it will be impossible to support."

Secretary Clinton, who took part last week in sessions of the direct talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt and Jerusalem, urged support for the peace process Tuesday in a joint meeting here with Arab League foreign ministers and separate meetings with her Libyan and Qatari counterparts.

U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, meanwhile, held a joint working-level meeting  with Israeli and Palestinian officials in an effort to arrange the next leaders meeting of Mr. Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said while the United States and its Quartet partners are encouraging the parties to overcome the settlements issue and continue the process, a peace accord cannot be imposed on them.

"Ultimately this has to be something that they believe in and are willing to commit to, and overcome obstacles and reach an agreement," said P.J. Crowley. "All we can do is remind them, as Secretary Clinton emphasized last week, that absent this process and absent an agreement, there is no security for Israel and there is no state for the Palestinians."

The Quartet statement urged the two parties to refrain from provocations and inflammatory rhetoric.

It said unilateral actions by either side, including settlement activity, cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community.

The Quartet welcomed Israeli actions to improve access to Gaza, and easing restrictions on movement in the West Bank, and urged further Israeli steps to facilitate Palestinian state-building.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid