Friday, March 19, 2010

United States on Middle East peace process...( * News * World news * Israel US stares down Israel to revive Palestinian talks)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had collapsed in to the demands of the United States on Middle East peace process, opening the way for the resumption of talks with the Palestinians.

And the humiliating retreat, which came after a week of pressure from the Obama administration, has declared in the Middle East is still four-party talks this morning in Moscow.

The group met for dinner last night. It consists of a Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, the representative of the international Quartet of Middle East affairs, and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, the European Union Javier Solana, the new foreign policy, Lady Ashton; Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov called last night talks "very useful" and said the quartet was part of the way towards a "shared some of the results that may be useful to raise the beginning of the negotiations (between the Israelis and the Palestinians)."

In a telephone call with Clinton last night, Netanyahu agreed to many demands and that it had set last Friday.

A statement issued by his office, he suggested, and Clinton had called, "confidence-building measures" that would make it easier for the Palestinians to join the talks. He did not specify what those steps, but they could include easing Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from parts of the West Bank and release Palestinian prisoners.

He did not announce, and the United States had demanded, and freeze the construction of a new Jewish settlement in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in East Jerusalem, and the main sticking point.

But diplomats in Washington and Moscow and Jerusalem, "Netanyahu promised to build a temporary freeze on new housing. Work, while not abolished, is to be postponed for several years.

Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, The Washington Post: "The goal of both sides at this stage is to put this behind us and move forward at the proximity talks as soon as possible."

Concessions in order to put an end to a rare clash between the United States and Israel, which began early last week when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden paid a visit to Israel to coincide with what was to be hoped that the resumption of peace talks. During his visit, Israel announced a plan to build 1,600 Jewish homes in East Jerusalem. Palestinians immediately withdrew from the proposed talks and the United States and described the Israeli announcement as a contempt and insult.

Clinton was a tense 41-minute phone call with Netanyahu last Friday, expressing anger the United States which sets her demands: confidence-building measures, a moratorium on new construction in East Jerusalem and promised that the resumption of negotiations would be on the substantive issues, not just talks about talks.

There was no indication whether Netanyahu agreed to the last point, but not likely, given the events of last week, that the United States will have to settle for anything less.

Diplomats said some of the concessions made by Netanyahu and other public sector holding to enable him to save face.

The decline is a politically awkward situation for Netanyahu in the next few days after he said publicly that no Israeli government in the past 42 years made a promise not to build in East Jerusalem. He will face criticism, especially from his partners in the right-wing coalition government.

Netanyahu held a lengthy meeting with his colleagues in the government on Wednesday evening to discuss the concessions that would have to make.

Obama and Clinton win the Israeli withdrawal, which will help its reputation among Palestinians and the Arab world. Left seems weak after a similar stance with Israel off last September when peace talks failed to get in full swing.

And U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, canceled a trip to Israel this week in protest, but is to resume his visit on Sunday. Clinton is to see Netanyahu in Washington next week.

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Crowley said Clinton and Netanyahu discussed "concrete steps" to improve the prospects for peace talks in the Middle East. A spokesman for Netanyahu, the yoke Chefetz, the prime minister had proposed a "mutual confidence-building steps" that both Israel and the Palestinians could take.

Israel responded last night to a Palestinian rocket attack killed a Thai farm worker. Israeli planes hit at least two targets in the Gaza Strip, officials and witnesses said.



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