- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Abbas: Palestinian-Israeli talks over
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A low-level dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians about a future border has ended without any breakthrough, the Palestinian president said Wednesday, reflecting the impasse plaguing the negotiations for at least three years.
President Mahmoud Abbas said he would consult with Arab allies next week to figure out how to proceed now. While frustrated with the lack of progress, Mr. Abbas is under pressure to extend the Jordanian-mediated exploratory talks, which the international community hopes will lead to a resumption of long-stalled formal negotiations on establishing a Palestinian state.
A Palestinian walkout could cost Mr. Abbas international sympathy at a time when he seeks global recognition of a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.
The gaps between the Israelis and Palestinians are vast, and Mr. Abbas believes there is no point in returning to formal negotiations without assurances, such as marking the pre-1967 war lines as a basis for border talks and halting Israeli settlement building on occupied lands. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says everything should be discussed in negotiations and insists he is serious about reaching a deal by year’s end.
Though there have been talks off and on, the last substantive round was in late 2008, when Israel informally proposed a deal and the Palestinians did not respond. When Mr. Netanyahu took office the next year, he took the proposal, including a state in most of the territories the Palestinians claim, off the table.
A round started in late 2010 by President Obama quickly sputtered over the settlement issue.
Visiting European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is scheduled to meet separately over the next two days with Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu to try to salvage the exploratory talks. Two officials involved in the contacts said she is trying to put together a package of Israeli incentives that would keep the Palestinians from walking away.
“We need to keep talks going and increase the potential of these talks to become genuine negotiations,” Ms. Ashton said.
Under Jordanian mediation, Israeli and Palestinian envoys have met several times over the past month, including on Wednesday. The Quartet of international mediators — the United States, the United Nations, the EU and Russia — said last fall that it expected both sides to submit detailed proposals on borders and security arrangements in these meetings.
“If we demarcate the borders, we can return to negotiations, but Israel does not want to do that,” Mr. Abbas said Wednesday, after talks in Jordan with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. His remarks were carried by the Palestinian news agency Wafa.
The Palestinians are flexible on security arrangements but would object to any Israeli presence in a Palestinian state, he said.
Mr. Netanyahu has said he would not give up east Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ hoped-for capital, but has never outlined where he would draw a border.
Such a demarcation could set off a political firestorm in his governing coalition, particular among pro-settler parties, because it would spell out how many settlements, at a minimum, would have to be dismantled.
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Classical music and the performing arts: news and reviews you can use.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Great discoveries in the world of restaurants and chefs fulfill the quest for delicious food and cooking.
White House pets gone wild!