'Nothing locked.' Mitchell (L) with Netanyahu (Archives)
Photo: Mati Stern, US Embassy

Clinton: US hopes indirect Israel-Palestinian talks soon

In Brazil, secretary of state says US 'very pleased' with Arab League endorsement of 'proximity talks' between Israel, PA. Officials says Mideast envoy Mitchell expected in region soon

The United States hopes indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians will begin soon, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday after the Arab League threw its support behind the proposal.


Arab League ministers on Wednesday supported the US call for so-called "proximity talks" between Israel and the Palestinians, reviving hopes that the moribund peace process can be relaunched after more than a year.


"We were very pleased by the endorsement that came out of Cairo today...we hope they (the talks) will begin soon", Clinton said in Brazil, where she is on an official trip.


A US official said on Wednesday that special envoy for Middle East peace George Mitchell is expected to return to the region soon and is closer to launching indirect peace talks although nothing is yet set,.


"We expect Senator Mitchell to return to the region in the very near future ... (to) continue our work to get negotiations relaunched as soon as possible," said the official, who spoke on condition that he not be identified.


"We are getting closer to doing that but we don't have anything locked and loaded ready to announce yet," he added.


Arab League ministers earlier on Wednesday supported the US call for so-called "proximity talks" between Israel and the Palestinians under which Mitchell would shuttle between the two sides in an effort to end the six-decade conflict.


Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset, "It seems the conditions are ripening for renewed talks between us and the Palestinians. I think conditions are ripening because of understanding and despite the criticism.


"Fewer and fewer countries are willing to countenance prior conditions and it may be that negotiations will be seen soon," the PM continued. "In the Middle East, one needs two to tango, or maybe even three. The obstacle is not Israel. And anyone who studies the situation reasonably knows this." 


פרסום ראשון: 03.03.10, 20:47
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