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

Nearly 900 Dead, Missing in 2014 Air Disasters

Southeast Asia took a particularly heavy hit; 3 major events involved weather, two planes were shot down in eastern Ukraine, and one crash was attributed to mechanical problems More

Video Islamic State Emergence Transformed Syria, Iraq in 2014

'It was very clear that there were problems building up in Iraq at the end of 2013 but everybody was distracted by Syria,' says one expert, explaining group's rapid rise More

Rights Group: IS Executed Nearly 2,000 in Syria in 6 Months

Islamist group also killed 120 of its own members, most foreign fighters trying to return home, in past two months, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 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.
Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaisei
X
Daniel Schearf
December 25, 2014 4:34 PM
Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video 2014 Saw Intensification of Boko Haram Insurgency

The year 2014 saw Nigerian militant sect Boko Haram intensify its five-year insurgency and target civilians in large numbers as it seized territory in the northeast. The kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok in April sparked global outrage, but failed to become the turning point against the sect that Nigeria’s president said it would be. The picture at year's end is one of devastation and uncertainty. VOA’s Anne Look reports.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Fight to Survive Water Crisis

In a region choking from dwindling water supplies, Lebanon has long been regarded as one of the few places where there is enough. But in recent years, half the people in the country have faced severe shortages. And the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are hit the worst by the water crisis, making the country's most vulnerable people increasingly impoverished and sick. Heather Murdock reports for VOA in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid