Clinton and Barak
Photo: Reuters

US in 'full court press' to restart direct Mideast talks

State Department spokesman says Clinton spoke with Israeli PM, Arab counterparts in push to move to direct peace talks. Philip Crowley says, 'We're hopeful parties will reach this point, but I can't pinpoint particular date'

The United States said Tuesday it is making a "full-court press" to encourage the Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct peace talks that lapsed in late 2008.


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the weekend by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as her counterparts from Jordan and Qatar, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.


"We have a full court press underway to see if we can move to direct negotiations," Crowley told reporters. "We're hopeful that the parties will reach this point but I can't pinpoint a particular day on the calendar."


Crowley said he had no details about a 45-minute one-on-one meeting Clinton had Monday with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.


However, he said the chief US diplomat and Netanyahu discussed both the current proximity - indirect - talks as well as how the Palestinians and Israelis could restart direct negotiations with the help of other countries.


The pair also talked about the increase in aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which has seen a relaxation of the Israeli blockade since a diplomatic uproar over a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.


Since May, Israel and the Palestinians have been locked in US-brokered indirect talks.


The Palestinians broke off direct negotiations with Israel in December 2008 when the Jewish state launched an offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.



פרסום ראשון: 07.27.10, 23:30
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