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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid