Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

US said to be 'frustrated' with pace of 'proximity talks'

The US is said to be 'frustrated' with the pace of the 'proximity talks,' and guess who is being blamed.
U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell is frustrated by the conduct of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the proximity talks with the Palestinians. Mitchell, who is due in Israel on Thursday for another round of talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah, has expressed to Netanyahu his wish to see more progress by Israel on core issues.


A senior U.S. administration official told Haaretz Monday that Mitchell is interested in seeing more "seriousness" in talks on the core issues. "We want things to move faster and that there will be more progress on a number of issues," the senior U.S. official said. "To date there has been insufficient progress."

The senior U.S. official also said that the administration would like Netanyahu to show more willingness for substantive discussions on core issues, and to see the Palestinians moving toward direct talks with Israel.

There have been four rounds of proximity talks so far, during which Mitchell shuttled between Ramallah and Jerusalem. During talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Netanyahu, the two informed the U.S. envoy of their positions on the various core issues. However, the Palestinian side has presented far more detailed positions.
I assume you all realize that 'progress' = Israeli concessions.
A senior Israeli source updated on some of the content of the proximity talks said that the American frustration stems from the fact that Netanyahu has so far not given any clear answers on the borders of the future Palestinian state. During the past three rounds of proximity talks Netanyahu opted to dedicate much of the meetings to relatively peripheral issues, like water, the economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian state, and the development of a "culture of peace" in a future Palestinian state.
I'm with Netanyahu on this. Why should Israel give ANY position on a major issue except in direct talks and as part of an overall settlement. That's absurd!

There are two problems with this. One is the lurking US threat to blame Israel for the collapse of the 'proximity talks,' which is unlikely to be carried out until after the November midterm elections. The other is that the US accelerates threats in a bid to force Israel to bow to its will. Again, that won't happen explicitly until after November, but if Obama gets the sense that he's only going to be a one-term President anyway, watch out.


At 12:44 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Agreed. There is NO reason for Israel to make any concessions. And Israel is not going to be rewarded for making them and as soon they are pocketed, the pressure will again be placed on Israel to make more of them. The other side is not ready to negotiate with Israel and it is content to have the US negotiate on their behalf with Israel. Netanyahu should tell Mitchell that if he wants to see progress he can tell the Palestinians to talk directly to Israel and as long they don't, the so-called "proximity talks" will go nowhere.


Post a Comment

<< Home