Defense Minister Ehud Barak and negotiations advisor Attorney Yitzhak Molcho held a series of meetings with US and Palestinian officials in New York Friday, in an attempt to reach an agreement on the impending end of the settlement freeze – one which would allow for some construction in the West Bank while also allowing the peace talks to continue.
Jerusalem sources said the meetings were meant to prevent a standstill in the peace talks and allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet political and coalitional needs which demand the freeze end as scheduled.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday and discussed with him the settlement construction freeze issue.
"The discussions are pretty intense right now," said Jeffrey Feltman, US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. "We are urging Israel to extend the moratorium and we are also making clear to the Palestinians that we do not believe that it is in their interest to walk out of the talks."
Nevertheless, no agreement has been reached at this time.
The Palestinian have already stated that should any settlement construction be resumed, they will walk away from the negotiation table. The parties are currently trying to find a way to avoid such a situation.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook