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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quartet ends two-hour meeting without statement

The Middle East 'quartet' met over dinner for two hours and 15 minutes in Washington on Monday night and ended without making any progress. They did not even issue a statement.
The Quartet wants to find a way to resume talks and to avert a diplomatic showdown expected at the United Nations in September, when the Palestinians may seek wider international recognition for a Palestinian state.

"There are still gaps that are impeding progress," said a senior Obama administration official who briefed reporters after the meeting on condition of anonymity. "Realistically ... more work needs to be done to close those gaps."

"There is a time and a place for public statements and there is a time and a place for private diplomacy," he added. "We need to do more work, privately, quietly, with the parties, in order to see if we can't close these gaps."

The official declined to discuss the nature of the gaps and he said the Quartet perceives "an urgent need to appeal to the parties to overcome current obstacles and find a way to resume direct negotiations without delay or preconditions."
Given Israel's expectations from this meeting, I suppose we ought to be pleased with this result.


So here's the bad news. Israel Radio reports that the quartet will meet again on Tuesday in an effort to reach an agreed statement, and that all parties present voiced approval for President Obama's call for a 'Palestinian state' on the '1967 lines' with 'agreed swaps.'

What could go wrong?

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At 2:28 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel will not agree with the Quartet's position.

Its a non-starter. The Palestinians are not interested in talks but in an Israeli surrender.

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing has prevented the Palestinians from negotiating except their preference for one-sided diktats. Giving them a thumb on the balance scale of territorial talks won't prevent them from demanding the rest of the sale.

Perhaps the Quartet can remind us why the Palestinians have control over the Temple Mount.


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