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

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs