News / Middle East

US: Direct Mideast Talks Deal Very Close

Multimedia

Audio

The State Department said Thursday an agreement for the start of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is close to completion. The deal will apparently be sealed by statements from the United States and the International Middle East Quartet.

U.S. officials have been reporting incremental progress in the peace contacts for several days.

But State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said Thursday an agreement to upgrade Israeli-Palestinian contacts to direct negotiations is very, very close, and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was involved in telephone diplomacy to seal the deal.

Crowley said Clinton spoke late Wednesday with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, to among other things assure him that the Palestinian Authority will have international financial backing during a negotiating process aimed at Palestinian statehood.

The spokesman said the Secretary spoke Thursday with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, now serving as Middle east envoy for the international Middle East Quartet, consisting of the European Union, the United States, Russia and the United Nations.

It has long been expected that the Quartet, which issued a road map to Middle East peace in 2003, would launch the envisaged direct talks with a statement announcing a framework, venue, and possible timetable for the negotiations.

At a news briefing Thursday, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley indicated strongly that as a result of last-minute bargaining, the United States will also issue a separate statement of its expectations for the talks:

"We believe if we reach the point we hope to arrive at that members of the Quartet will demonstrate their support for the process, we will demonstrate our support for the process, and we will outline specifics of where we go from here. We are not at that point yet," said Crowley.  "There are still details that we're working through. We're not going to do the negotiation in public. We want to make sure that the parties have the right understanding of what they're agreeing to, to move this process forward with the appropriate set of expectations."

Israel in recent days had expressed concern about the Quartet setting parameters for direct talks, and a parallel U.S. statement may be aimed at easing those misgivings.

U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who has been shuttling back and forth to the region brokered the current round of indirect or proximity talks several months ago.

Israel has stated its readiness to upgrade the dialogue but the Palestinians have been more hesitant. Late last month the Arab League endorsed a move to direct talks, while leaving a decision on the timing to Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.

The broad outlines of a two-state Israeli-Palestinian peace accord have been established in previous negotiating efforts.

Secretary Clinton has spoken in recent months of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state with borders based on pre-1967 lines, but with agreed land swaps and reflecting subsequent developments.

The United States holds that the thorniest issues in the peace process including refugees and the status of Jerusalem are for the parties to decide in final-status talks.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid