- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
Palestinian PM: Conditions ‘not ripe’ for peace talks
Question of the Day
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says that circumstances are “not ripe” for peace talks with Israel, arguing that the international community’s focus on getting Israelis and Palestinians back to the table is misguided.
“Let me be frank with you: My own assessment is that conditions are not ripe at this juncture for the resumption — a meaningful resumption — of talks,” Mr. Fayyad told attendees of the American Task Force on Palestine’s annual gala late Wednesday.
But he questioned the wisdom of treating the resumption of negotiations as “a key objective of policy at this juncture,” saying that “all it’s likely to produce under current conditions is defensiveness on the part of the parties.”
Peace talks have more or less been frozen since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office in 2009. The Palestinians joined U.S.-sponsored peace talks in September 2010 but withdrew within weeks after the expiration of a 10-month Israeli moratorium on settlements in the West Bank.
The Middle East “Quartet” — the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia — last month issued a statement calling on the parties to resume negotiations within a month and to reach a comprehensive agreement by the end of 2012.
“It’s not for lack of talks that this process has not produced,” he said. “It’s precisely because those talks were attempted so many times before, but not on the basis of terms of reference that are really consistent with what is required to bring this conflict to an end.”
Mr. Fayyad did not speak directly about the recent Palestinian application for U.N. statehood recognition — a move the U.S. has promised to veto in the Security Council. But he acknowledged that “our relations with the United States are going through a period of strain” as a result.
Mr. Fayyad is rumored to be wary of the U.N. gambit. At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing last month, Rep. Elliot Engel, New York Democrat, claimed that Mr. Fayyad had told him “that he thinks the Palestinians going to the U.N. is the stupidest thing that they could possibly do.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq