News / Middle East

Israel's Peace Negotiator Eyes Arab World Alliance Shift

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, left, and Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni address media after State Department talks, Washington, July 30, 2013.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, left, and Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni address media after State Department talks, Washington, July 30, 2013.
Reuters
Israel's top peace negotiator said on Friday newly resumed talks with the Palestinians also held a wider opportunity for Israel to seek alliances with Arab world moderates against militants in the Middle East.
 
The U.S.-brokered talks were renewed last month after a three-year standoff, the latest session on Wednesday coming amid a row over new plans by Israel to expand its enclaves in territory Palestinians want for a state.
 
The sides have provided little detail about the talks, hoping a lower profile may help them reach Washington's ambitious goal of reaching a deal for Palestinian statehood in nine months, despite wide gaps over key issues.
 
Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, speaking after meeting about the negotiations with visiting U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon on Friday, declined to say whether any progress had been made.
 
She said the talks have provided an opening "not only to relaunch negotiations but also to change the allies and alliances in the region."
 
"I believe there are parts in the Arab world that for them relaunching the negotiations can be an opportunity to support this and to work together against the extremists," she added, alluding to the turmoil in Egypt and Syria's civil war.
 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at a meeting with Ban on Thursday, the negotiations with Israel had thus far dealt with "all the final status issues" but that it was "too early to say whether we've accomplished anything or not."
 
The Arab League, Jordan and Egypt's military-led government that deposed Muslim Brotherhood rulers last month have welcomed the resumption of peace talks, also with backing from the Arab League whose 2002 peace initiative remains on the table for possible recognition of Israel after the dispute is resolved.
 
Israel has peace treaties with two Arab countries, Egypt, signed in 1979, and Jordan, in 1994, but remains technically at war with much of the Arab world since the conflict over Israel's founding in 1948.
 
Ban 'deeply troubled'

Ban said in his Ramallah talks with Abbas he was "deeply troubled by Israel's continuing settlement activity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem."
 
The U.N. chief was referring to plans for some 1,200 new housing units in the territory Israel captured in a 1967 war that Israel published ahead of this week's talks.
 
Ban praised Israel's release of 26 of the 104 prisoners promised under a deal that led to resuming peace talks, but expressed concern for 5,000 other Palestinians in Israeli jails, some of whom have been on intermittent hunger strikes.
 
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said he told Ban that Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon are violating a 2006 ceasefire with activity close to Israel's border, such as weapons depots in south Lebanese villages.
 
Israel was worried about conflict in neighboring countries, he said in a statement released by his office: "The Middle East is in the throes of a strategic earthquake and there will be instability in the region for a long time to come."

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid