Obama urges restart of middle east peace talks

Obama urges restart of middle east peace talks

Obama encouraged netanyahu to continue working with u.S. Secretary of state john kerry toward negotiations with the palastinians, the weibe house announced thursday (local time).

There is still resistance in the palastinian leadership to a resumption of peace talks with israel on the current terms. "We will accept nothing less than the 1967 borders," said assam ahmad of the central committee of palastinian president mahmud abbas’ fatah party in ramallah on thursday. "The general opinion is that the plan presented by kerry is still not enough to resume the language," stressed kes abdul karim of the democratic front for the liberation of palastina. Earlier, a special meeting of palastinian leadership bodies called by abbas had ended.

Mustafa barguti of the national initiative criticized the proposal as too general: "the majority of the groups are against the resumption of negotiations without reference to the borders of 67. Kerry’s plan says nothing about this or a settlement freeze."

At the meeting, abbas had explained to representatives of the palastinian umbrella organization PLO and fatah the status so far of kerry’s efforts to revive peace talks with israel.

On tuesday, abbas held a meeting with kerry in the jordanian capital of amman. Kerry was optimistic on wednesday: "we were able to narrow the gap between the positions (of israel and the palastinians) decisively. I remain confident that both sides will soon be able to sit down together again". It was kerry’s sixth mediation mission in five months.

The arab league, on the other hand, had approved kerry’s plan, effectively giving abbas the green light to negotiate with israel. "Kerry’s ideas, especially the political, economic and security elements, (…) create a good basis and a favorable atmosphere for the resumption of negotiations," the organization had said.

Israel rejects abbas’ preconditions for talks, such as recognition of the 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations, a complete freeze on settlements and the release of palastinians in long-term detention. In netanyahu’s pro-settler government there is strong resistance to the two-state solution, which envisages a palastinian state living peacefully alongside israel.

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