News / Middle East

Quartet: Egypt Unrest Creates Urgent Need for Israeli-Palestinian Talks

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (r), US Middle East envoy George Mitchell (c) and the Middle East Quartet special envoy Tony Blair (l) gathered at a group meeting at the 47th Munich Security Conference, February 5, 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (r), US Middle East envoy George Mitchell (c) and the Middle East Quartet special envoy Tony Blair (l) gathered at a group meeting at the 47th Munich Security Conference, February 5, 2011

The international Quartet of Middle East peace mediators says there is an "urgent" need for renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians due to political unrest in Egypt and other Arab nations.

In a statement Saturday, the Quartet urged Israel, the Palestinians and others concerned to "expedite" Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.  It says delaying such talks while unrest continues in Egypt and elsewhere will be "detrimental" to regional peace and security.

The Quartet issued the statement following a meeting in Munich of its senior representatives, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Ashton said recent events in the Middle East mean it is "hugely important" that progress is made in the peace process.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has long been a major player in efforts to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians. Western government fear that days of mass protests demanding his resignation after three decades in office could boost the power of Egyptian Islamists opposed to peace with Israel.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down last September, when Israel rejected Palestinian demands to extend a freeze on Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank - land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state.

The Quartet expressed "regret" with Israel's "discontinuation" of the 10-month moratorium on West Bank housing construction. It also said unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has secured diplomatic recognition of an independent Palestine from several nations in recent months.

The Quartet also welcomed an Israeli agreement to undertake a series of measures to boost Palestinian economic development in the West Bank and facilitate the rebuilding of war-damaged infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the steps Friday, after meeting Quartet envoy Tony Blair. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected the promised Israeli measures, calling them a deception.

He also expressed disappointment with the Quartet's statement, saying the Palestinians had expected the mediators to demand a stop to Israeli settlement activity.

The Quartet says its envoys will hold separate talks with Israeli and Palestinians negotiators in Brussels before meeting again in mid-March.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid