Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Kerry, Ban announce 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

Americas

Obama to hold Abbas-Netanyahu meeting on Tuesday

Video by Aurore Cloe DUPUIS

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-20

The White House has announced that US President Barack Obama will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday in an effort to revive the peace process.

Reuters - U.S. President Barack Obama will hold a joint meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday to try to restart peace talks between the two sides, the White House said.

 

The meeting—the first between the three men—will be held in New York, where the U.N. General Assembly takes place next week.

 

Obama will meet with each leader separately before convening a joint session with them, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in the statement, released on Saturday.

 

Netanyahu’s office said in a statement the Israeli leader had pushed forward his departure for New York to Monday from Wednesday for the purpose of meeting with Obama and Abbas.

 

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes the United States’ invitation for talks with President Barack Obama and for a trilateral meeting with President Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,” the statement said.

 

A senior Netanyahu aide added, “The meeting will be held without preconditions, as the prime minister had always wanted.”

 

The White House had been coy on Friday about the chances of a sit-down between the three parties. Officials said the event illustrated the president’s personal commitment to peace in the region.

 

U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell just ended a week of shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East with little to show for his efforts as Israel and the Palestinians dug in to opposing positions on Jewish settlements.

 

Officials from both sides, while reluctant to spurn Obama’s invitation for a meeting, had acknowledged that a photograph and handshake at the United Nations would not be enough to relaunch the peace process without substantial shifts in negotiating positions.

 

Laying the groundwork

 

Gibbs said the meeting would continue U.S. efforts to “lay the groundwork for the relaunch of negotiations and to create a positive context for those negotiations so that they can succeed.”

 

Mitchell, a former senator credited with helping bring peace to Northern Ireland, praised Obama for stepping in.

 

“It is another sign of the president’s deep commitment to comprehensive peace that he wants to personally engage at this juncture,” Mitchell said in the White House statement.

 

He said the United States was continuing efforts to “encourage all sides to take responsibility for peace and to create a positive context for the resumption of negotiations.”

 

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no announcement was expected to come out of the meeting but he noted the significance of the gesture less than a year after a war in Gaza and several months after the formation of Netanyahu’s government in Israel.

 

“These three leaders are going to sit down in the same room and continue to narrow the gaps,” the official said.

 

The meeting comes during a sour spell in Israeli-U.S. relations as Netanyahu, in power since March at the head of a right-wing coalition skeptical of Palestinian intentions, defies Obama’s demand that he curb settlement building.

 

Palestinians, who say expanding settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem will deny them a viable state, want a full halt to building until a final peace, which might involve Israel keeping some settlements in a land swap.

 

Netanyahu has offered to freeze building in the West Bank for nine months, Israeli officials have said.

 

Palestinians reject Netanyahu’s insistence on excluding East Jerusalem from any freeze.
 

Date created : 2009-09-20

COMMENT(S)