News / Middle East

    US Envoy: Mideast Talks 'Moving in Right Direction'

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el Sheikh,  14 Sept 2010.
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el Sheikh, 14 Sept 2010.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    American Middle East envoy George Mitchell said Tuesday he thinks the U.S.-brokered direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks "are moving in the right direction overall." Mitchell spoke after a three-way U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli meeting in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh that included a surprise second session.



    The initial three-way meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Neyanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton extended nearly two hours - longer than planned.

    Although he kept to a stated commitment to avoid discussing the substance of the talks, U.S. envoy Mitchell, who spoke for the three parties, hinted at progress.

    What was discussed

    He said the talks, the second round of a direct dialogue begun earlier this month in Washington, included a serious discussion of several of the core issues of the peace process,  and that he believes the talks "are moving in the right direction overall."

    It was later revealed that the three principals held an unscheduled second meeting Tuesday afternoon at a Sharm el-Sheikh hotel. The dialogue is to continue with another three-way meeting Wednesday in Jerusalem, and Mitchell said the parties agreed to hold working-level talks to, among other things, prepare for the next leadership session.

    Palestinian demands

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets for Mideast peace talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 14 Sept 2010.
    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets for Mideast peace talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 14 Sept 2010.

    The talks here convened amid Palestinian threats to walk out of the process if Prime Minister Netanyahu failed to extend the moratorium on most West Bank settlement activity he declared earlier this year and which expires September 26.

    Mitchell, under questioning, reaffirmed U.S. support for extending the freeze but said there are also steps the Palestinians should take to advance the dialogue.

    "We think it makes sense to extend the moratorium, especially given that the talks are moving in a constructive direction," Mitchell said. "We know that this is a politically sensitive issue in Israel and we have also called on President Abbas to take steps that help encourage and facilitate this process. We believe that both sides have a responsibility to help insure that these talks continue in a constructive manner."

    Mubarak's contributions

    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, hosting Israeli-Palestinian talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, 14 Sept 2010.
    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, hosting Israeli-Palestinian talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, 14 Sept 2010.

    The U.S. envoy paid tribute to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who held bilateral meetings here with all three key participants, for hosting the first round of direct talks in the region in nearly two years.

    The venue will shift to Jerusalem Wednesday to, as a senior U.S. official said, "put the focus on the Israeli-Palestinian channel and to regularize the dialogue."

    Mitchell said the goal continues to be a resolution of the decades-long conflict within a year.

    "President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu continue to agree that these negotiations, whose goal is to resolve all core issues, can be completed within one year," Mitchell said. "As I said recently in Washington, the parties have agreed to begin first on working to achieve a framework agreement for permanent status. That work is now well under way."

    Core issues

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el Sheikh, 14 Sept 2010.
    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el Sheikh, 14 Sept 2010.

    The core issues include the borders of a prospective Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, the right of refugees and future of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

    Palestinian officials have been pushing for an early agreement on borders, which U.S. officials say would go a long way toward de-fusing the settlement issue.

    Secretary Clinton, after Wednesday's Jerusalem meetings, will meet Mr. Abbas at his Ramallah office Thursday before ending her Middle East trip with a stop in Amman to meet Jordan's King Abdullah.

    A senior U.S. official said Mitchell would remain in the region and visit Syria shortly, reflecting Obama administration interest in an eventual broader regional peace accord involving Syria and Lebanon.

    Related video report by Robert Raffaele:

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora