Clinton and Ashton
Photo: AFP

Quartet: Peace deal by 2012

International Quartet sets timetable for new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

The International Quartet of Middle East mediators proposed on Friday that Israel and the Palestinians should meet within one month to agree an agenda for new peace talks with a goal of a deal by the end of 2012.


In a statement, the Quartet - the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia - said it wanted to see comprehensive proposals within three months on territory and security, and substantial progress within six months.


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Senior Israeli officials told Ynet they are still looking into the Quartet's statement.The officials doubted the possibility of securing a deal within a year. 


The statement followed a day of high-stakes diplomacy over the Middle East which saw Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submit a formal application to the UN Security Council for recognition of a Palestinian state.


The Quartet, which has been working for months to try to find a formula to restart talks, said its new timetable aimed to reach a peace agreement before the end of 2012.


The statement, issued after a meeting between UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, also called on parties to refrain from "provocative actions."


The brief statement represents a much more limited attempt to restart peace talks than Quartet envoys had once envisioned, and made no proposals to bridge core issues dividing the two sides such as borders, the status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the future of Jewish settlements.


The EU's Ashton, speaking to reporters as the statement was issued, said both the Israelis and the Palestinians were aware of "elements" in the new proposal, but indicated it was not certain that they would sign up for new talks.


"We believe that this would provide a good framework," she said. "We hope the parties will respond positively."


Yitzhak Benhorin and Attila Somfalvi contributed to the story




פרסום ראשון: 09.23.11, 23:27
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