News / Middle East

US Mideast Envoy: Palestinians Want Peace Talks to Continue

The U.S. envoy to the Middle East says the Palestinians want peace talks to continue, even though the Palestinians decided that direct negotiations cannot resume until Israel stops building settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Diaa Bekheet

Diplomatic efforts are continuing to save the Middle East peace process from collapse.  

Israel is urging the Palestinians not to quit direct peace talks that began only a month ago.  On Saturday, Palestinian leaders led by President Mahmoud Abbas declared they would not return to negotiations until Israel imposed a freeze on settlement construction.  

The talks plunged into crisis last week, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided not to extend a 10-month moratorium on building in the West Bank.

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev says quitting will not accomplish anything.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu called upon President Abbas to continue with these talks because ultimately, only through ongoing, serious, direct talks can we build a better future for Israelis and Palestinians," Regev said.

During a four-day peace mission last week to Jerusalem and the West Bank, U.S. envoy George Mitchell tried to persuade Mr. Netanyahu to extend the construction freeze, but to no avail.  The Israeli leader is under pressure to keep building from his right-wing coalition partners who support the settlers.

Palestinian spokesman Husam Zomlot says the alleged Israeli coalition problems are just an excuse.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right, meets with U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right, meets with U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010


"Mr. Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, was able to enforce a moratorium before the direct negotiations; then he can and should enforce such a moratorium during the direct talks," Zomlot said. "The game of deceit is over for us Palestinians; we will not accept playing with words."

Ambassador Mitchell met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday in Cairo.  The envoy said the United States is determined to get the peace process back on track.

"Despite their differences, both the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority have asked us to continue these discussions in an effort to establish the conditions under which they can continue direct negotiations," Mitchell said. "They both want to continue those negotiations.  They do not want to stop the talks."

Mitchell is trying to hammer out a compromise before the Arab League meets Friday in Libya to discuss the fate of the peace talks.

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs