News / Middle East

US in New Bid to Broker Mideast Peace Talks

Jewish settler boys stand atop ruins of razed buildings in the unauthorized Jewish hilltop outpost of Migron, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, September 5, 2011.
Jewish settler boys stand atop ruins of razed buildings in the unauthorized Jewish hilltop outpost of Migron, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, September 5, 2011.

A senior U.S. diplomatic team is meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials in what is widely seen as a last-ditch effort to broker direct peace talks and avoid a confrontation over Palestinian statehood at the United Nations later this month.  U.S. officials said Tuesday that a statehood move, over Israel’s objections, would set back peace efforts.

Officials say the dispatch of the U.S. team was preceded by a telephone appeal from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to have an open mind about the American diplomatic initiative.

The Obama administration is trying to broker an early agreement by the parties to resume direct peace talks and avoid an angry statehood clash at the United Nations later this month.  The United States would veto any request in the U.N. Security Council to make a Palestinian state a new member country of the world body.

But Palestinians say they are determined to press ahead with a vote to elevate their U.N. observer status in the General Assembly, where the United States has no veto.

U.S. officials say such a move would increase Israel’s political isolation, inflame regional tensions and set back hopes for Palestinian statehood, which to be viable, would require Israel’s concurrence.

State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the mission of U.S. envoys David Hale and Dennis Ross is to avoid a “bad scenario” when the new U.N. General Assembly convenes in New York later this month.

“We are going to continue to work right up till the U.N. General Assembly, if necessary, to get these parties back to the table," she said. "And we’ll continue to work afterwards.  This is where we are focused.  And as you know, we will continue to oppose any one-sided actions at the U.N.; and we’re making that clear to both sides.”

White House Middle East adviser Ross and Hale met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday.

Hale, who succeeded George Mitchell as U.S. Middle East envoy in May, goes on to the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday to meet with Abbas and other Palestinian officials.

U.S. sponsored direct Middle East peace talks broke down last year.

The New York Times reported Sunday that the Obama administration is trying to lure the parties back to negotiations with proposals derived from President Obama’s Middle East message in May, which called for a two-state solution based on Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

The newspaper said the new plan would be issued in a statement by the Middle East Quartet - which includes Russia, the European Union and the United Nations as well as the United States.  It would be aimed at discouraging potential votes for the Palestinians in the General Assembly and persuading President Abbas to step back from pursuing U.N. action.

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Clinton and Abbas had a good conversation on Monday and that the secretary of state asked the Palestinian chief to “receive the U.S. team with open ears.”

A top adviser to Abbas, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said Tuesday there is little the United States can do to change Palestinian plans and that they are going to the United Nations “regardless of objections or pressure.”

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid