News / Middle East

Palestinian Official Criticizes New Call for Talks with Israel

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki (file photo)
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki (file photo)

The Palestinian foreign minister said Saturday a new initiative calling for the resumption of peace talks with Israel is insufficient because it does not include a call for an Israeli settlement construction freeze.

Riyad al-Malki criticized the plan from the Middle East Quartet one day after Palestinians formally launched a bid for United Nations statehood recognition, despite U.S. and Israeli opposition.  He also said the Quartet's initiative is incomplete because it does not call for an Israeli withdrawal to the borders that were in place before Israel took control of Palestinian territories in 1967.

The Quartet, which is made up of the U.S., U.N., EU and Russia, has called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume talks within a month and reach an agreement by next year.

Abbas' UN speech

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Israel "the occupying power" and said its control of Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is a policy of "colonial settlement occupation."

In a later speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed that peace talks begin immediately and reaffirmed Israeli's stance that peace cannot come through U.N. resolutions.

Local reaction

Palestinians celebrated Saturday while Israelis reacted with a mix of hope and concern over Abbas' request for U.N. statehood recognition.

Arabic language newspapers praised Abbas' speech, saying it had bolstered Palestinian hopes for statehood as well as the his popularity.

But most of the Hebrew language newspapers said the U.N. bid will have little consequence since the Palestinians are not likely to drop their conditions for resuming peace talks which have been on hold for nearly a year.  

U.S. President Barack Obama said recently his government would use its veto power in the U.N. Security Council to block any resolution recognizing the Palestinians.  In his U.N. address, Obama said that the only solution was direct talks between the two sides.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council is set to discuss the Palestinians' statehood application on Monday.


Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
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.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid