Douglas's Feed
Aug 20, 2010

U.S. seeks to relaunch direct Mideast peace talks

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The United States and other big powers on Friday asked Israel and the Palestinians to restart direct talks on September 2, aiming for a deal in one year to create a Palestinian state and bring peace to one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were invited to meet with President Barack Obama on September 1, before formally resuming direct negotiations the following day at the State Department.

Aug 20, 2010

Israel, Palestinians cautious on peace talk invite

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and the Palestinians were waiting on Friday to study the wording of a statement from Washington inviting them to start direct talks on a Middle East peace treaty in the U.S. capital in two weeks.

A diplomatic source in the United States said the Quartet of world powers engaged in Middle East peace-making had agreed on the details of the invitation on Thursday and would issue it formally on Friday.

Aug 20, 2010

World powers aim to open Mideast talks next month

/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – World powers facing a fateful deadline in the Middle East peace process will invite Israelis and Palestinians to begin direct talks on September 2 in Washington, a diplomatic source said on Thursday.

Envoys from the so-called Quartet of powers — the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations — have been discussing a draft statement inviting the two sides to talks intended to conclude a treaty in one year, diplomatic sources said.

Aug 19, 2010

Draft talks invite sees Mideast deal in one year

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – World powers facing a fateful deadline in the Middle East peace process are discussing a draft statement inviting Israel and the Palestinians to embark on direct talks that should conclude a treaty in one year.

Diplomatic sources said the draft invitation was being discussed by the so-called Quartet of powers in Middle East peace-making — the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations – and may be issued by Friday afternoon.

Aug 19, 2010

Mideast peace process slows to stall speed

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Six weeks before a fateful deadline, the Middle East peace process has run aground over the terms of a symbolic upgrade from indirect to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Refloating the process quickly is crucial, diplomats say. An “invitation to talks” statement by the powers involved in Middle East peacemaking has been expected since Monday, with negotiators expected to discuss the wording again late Thursday.

Aug 13, 2010

“Direct talks” no Mideast miracle cure

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Moving from indirect talks to direct negotiations on the Middle East conflict may yield little unless Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a surprise in store, says a U.S. veteran of the peace process.

“It would be a mistake of epic proportions to conclude that we’ve now reached a fundamental turning point that is going to produce quick or easy progress let alone results,” former Middle East adviser Aaron David Miller told Reuters.

Aug 12, 2010

Major powers drawing up framework for Mideast talks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Major powers are working on a statement to set the basis for direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the European Union’s foreign policy chief told EU foreign ministers on Thursday.

High Representative Catherine Ashton said in a letter seen by Reuters the statement would be issued early next week, if both parties agreed to proceed to direct talks, and negotiations launched in August.

Aug 12, 2010

Israel said to reject Palestinian formula for talks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Major powers are working on a statement to set the basis for direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, a Western diplomat said on Thursday.

The Palestinians say this would persuade them to resume face-to-face talks, but Israeli newspapers said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. envoy George Mitchell on Wednesday he wants talks to start immediately without any such “precondition”.

Aug 11, 2010

Direct talks in sight as U.S. envoy sees Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he wanted to quickly get down to full-scale peace talks on Wednesday as he met U.S. envoy George Mitchell to hear the latest from the Palestinian camp.

“Shall we get on with it? Let’s get on with the talks,” Netanyahu said. “That’s my whole message … what I’ve been saying for a year and a half: lets get on with it.”

Aug 10, 2010

Signs of movement in Middle East peace talks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. envoy George Mitchell resumed his push for direct Middle East peace talks on Tuesday with signs coming from Palestinian leaders that they might bow to pressure and agree to meet the Israelis face-to-face.

Mitchell was due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to address questions from both before returning home on Wednesday.