News / Middle East

US Envoy Seeks Restart of Talks During Abbas, Mubarak Meeting

US Mideast envoy George Mitchell, left, during his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in Cairo, Egypt, 15 Dec 2010
US Mideast envoy George Mitchell, left, during his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in Cairo, Egypt, 15 Dec 2010

U.S.  peace envoy George Mitchell, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met in Cairo amid hopes of finding a formula to resume talks between Israel and the Palestinians. 

The fate of the fragile Middle East peace process was hanging by a thread as Arab diplomats converged on the Egyptian capital to deliberate what to do after Israel and the Palestinians threw up new obstacles.

U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas held lengthy conversations with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in a bid to find a face-saving resolution to the crisis.

Senator Mitchell said he would continue to work for "substantive" talks and "attempt to make real progress", despite inherent disagreements. "Reaching this goal will not be easy by any means," he says, "The differences between the two sides are real and they are persistent, but the way to get there is by engaging in good faith with the full complexities of the core issues and by working to narrow the gaps between the two sides."

Trying to sound upbeat, the U.S. envoy indicated the opposing sides had agreed to continue working in September and he is still going by that premise.

"In their direct talks in September, both Israelis and Palestinians decided together to pursue a framework agreement that would establish the fundamental compromises on all permanent status issues and it would pave the way for a final peace treaty,  That remains our goal," Mitchell said.

Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas is visiting Cairo to seek guidance from the Arab League follow-up committee about if, when and how to proceed with peace talks, following Israel's renunciation of a new settlement freeze.  The Palestinians were demanding a new Israeli freeze before engaging in direct talks.

University of Paris political science teacher Khattar Abou Diab believes the Palestinians and the Israelis are frustrated and that neither is offering much incentive to the other side to advance the situation.

He says that (Palestinian President Abbas) is in a bind and the Israelis are not giving any hopeful signs to move things forward, even if the settlement issue was just a pretext.  On both sides, he insists, there are hopes and frustrations.  He also criticizes President Obama for making the settlement freeze a condition for talks and says that we are now prisoners of that logic.

Abou Diab also points out the Palestinians are increasingly worried the ultimate goal of an independent Palestinian state is looking "more and more like a mirage."  He urges the Israeli government to show "more political courage," to coax the Palestinians back to the table.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More