News / Middle East

US Envoy Urges Israel, Palestinians to Exercise Restraint

Luis Ramirez

U.S. special envoy George Mitchell met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and urged both sides to create the conditions necessary for a new set of negotiations.

"On behalf of the United States and the president, I urge all sides to exercise restraint," said George Mitchell. "What is needed now is a period of calm and quiet in which we can go forward in the effort in which we are engaged."

The region has seen a new wave of violence in recent days, with clashes erupting between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli police in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.  In the past few days, several Palestinians have been killed in the confrontations.

U.S. efforts to bring both sides back to the table have been further complicated by a diplomatic rift between Israel and Washington, after Israel announced its approval of 1,600 new housing units to be built in East Jerusalem.

At talks with Mitchell in Amman, Mr. Abbas indicated the Palestinians have still not decided whether to return to negotiations.  

Mr. Abbas said the Palestinians are waiting for an answer in the coming few days and they hope this answer will include acceptance of a statement by the Quartet of world powers mediating the conflict that urges Israel to freeze all settlement activity.

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned Israel's continued expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

"Our positions are very well clear-cut, defined," said Saeb Erekat. "We need to give proximity talks the chance they deserve, but we want to make sure that the decision of the Israeli government to construct 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem and more to come is really stopped."

Mitchell later met with Jordan's King Abdullah.  A palace statement said the monarch told the U.S. envoy that Israel must stop all unilateral measures in the occupied Palestinian territories, and what it described as provocative moves aimed at changing Jerusalem's identity.  

The proximity talks mediated by the United States are meant to lay groundwork for future direct negotiations.  Both sides suspended talks more than a year ago.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid