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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

State Department denies reports Indyk's resigning

The State Department is denying reports that Martin Indyk is resigning as head of the US 'negotiating team' for the 'peace process' and that the team is being disbanded. The State Department says that Indyk has been recalled to Washington for 'consultations.'
The deputy spokesperson at the State Department, Marie Harf, told reporters in Washington on Monday that it was “incorrect” to suggest that Washington was dissolving its team of negotiators in the region.

Harf was responding to questions about reports in the Israeli press over the weekend claiming that American officials held Israel primarily responsible for the collapse in negotiations. According to the Hebrew-language tabloid Yedioth Ahronoth, the Obama administration viewed Israel’s refusal to consider a halt to settlement construction so as to allow for one last chance to salvage the negotiations as a key factor in their failure.

Harf, however, reiterated the official administration position which held that both sides took steps that sabotaged chances of reaching an agreement.

“On the Palestinian side, the appeal to 15 different treaties while we’re actively working to secure a prisoner release, as well as the announcement of the Fatah/Hamas reconciliation agreement at the moment we were working for a formula to extend the negotiations, really combined to make it impossible to extend the negotiations,” she said.

“On the Israeli side, large-scale settlement announcements, a failure to release the fourth tranche of prisoners on time, and then the announcement of 700 settlement tenders at a very sensitive moment, really combined to undermine the efforts to extend the negotiations,” Harf said. “So I would very much take notion with the fact that this was just one side. Both sides did things here that were very unhelpful.”
Unpoof? No one in Israel to the right of Shimon Peres is going to negotiate with Hamas.... 

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