Instead of nitpicking on a freeze in Israeli settlements, U.S. President Barack Obama has called for the resumption of negotiations for the final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the U.S. President during his meeting in New York with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said: “Simply put, it is past time to talk about starting negotiations. It is time to move forward... Permanent status negotiations must begin and begin soon.”
The daily quoting a source from the U.S. administration said “during the tripartite meeting Mr. Obama strongly expressed his impatience.” “We’ve had enough talks. We need to end this conflict. There is a window of opportunity but it might shut.” He said he was interested in resuming the negotiations between the sides “about all outstanding issues” based on the talks and signed agreements since the beginning of the Oslo process 16 years ago.
“There’s a historical record of the entire past negotiations and there are principles,” said Mr. Obama. “We wont start the negotiations from scratch, we will not take the historical record and toss it aside. Nor will we wait for the perfect formula.”
Mr. Obama said his envoy to West Asia, George Mitchell, would meet Israeli and Palestinian negotiators next week. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would in October report back to him on the progress in the talks.
In New York this week, Israelis and Palestinians would hold U.S.-mediated talks so that negotiations on the key issues could urgently commence. Ms. Clinton would also hold additional talks among Israeli, Palestinians and American work teams, said Haaretz. It was hoped that the intensive diplomatic exercise would lead within a few weeks to a formal public “launch event,” marking the full resumption of talks, the daily observed.