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.

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid