Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

France

Clinton rejects France’s bid to host Mideast peace talks

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-07

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejected France’s proposal to host a Middle East peace conference Monday, saying it was not the right time for Paris to attempt a return to peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

REUTERS - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on Monday as the United States seeks to find a way to revive moribund peace talks.

Clinton also met visiting French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe -- who launched a separate bid to start talks -- but said it was too early to consider a proposed Paris conference because neither side appeared willing to talk despite a looming September showdown over Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.

 
"We strongly support a return to negotiations, but we do not think that it would be productive for there to be a conference about returning to negotiations," Clinton told reporters.
 
"There has to be a return to negotiations, which will take a lot of persuasion and preliminary work in order to set up a productive meeting between the parties," she said, adding that Washington was in a "wait-and-see" attitude.
 
Clinton's meetings with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and his Israeli counterpart Yitzhak Molcho came amid mounting concern over the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, which remains deadlocked despite the wave of political change sweeping the Arab world.
 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he intends to seek U.N. recognition of Palestinian statehood at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September -- a move which both Israel and the United States say will only inflame tensions.
 
Juppe said his offer last week to host talks between the two sides in Paris was based on concerns that that situation could spin out of control if September arrives and no peace talks are under way.
 
"We have the feeling if nothing happens before September, the situation will be very difficult for everybody," he told reporters.
 
Faltering effort
 
U.S. President Barack Obama presided over the resumption of direct peace talks between the two sides in September, but the effort collapsed almost immediately over Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank.
 
Obama has said he believed it was possible to get a framework deal for peace within a year, and last month sought to accelerate the momentum by proposing that the two sides discuss terms based on the borders that existed in before the 1967 war in which Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, along with agreed territorial swaps.
 
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who leads a coalition dominated by pro-settler parties, swiftly rejected the plan as unworkable.
 
The faltering effort has been further strained by a recent Palestinian political unity deal between President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement and the rival Islamist Hamas, which controls Gaza and remains sworn to Israel's destruction.
 
While the Palestinians say the planned unity government will be technocratic with no direct role for Hamas, both Israeli and U.S. leaders have said peace talks are not possible unless Hamas explicitly recognizes Israel's right to exist and renounces violence.
 
Clinton said on Tuesday those concerns remained.
 
"It is not enough for us that it would be called technocratic," she said. "If Hamas is involved we think that undermines the whole purpose of negotiations because we would have a party that rejects Israel's right to exist."
 
Erekat, speaking after his meeting with Clinton, said he had sought to address U.S. concerns over Hamas -- but repeated that Palestinians must achieve political reconciliation if they are to meet their goal of forming an independent state.
 
"This is not a power-sharing government," Erekat said. "This will be a government for elections, and reconstruction of Gaza, and a government that runs Abbas' program," he said.
 
He said the Palestinians remained firm in their intention to seek U.N. recognition, and warned that failure to move toward statehood could throw a question mark over the future viability of Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

 

Date created : 2011-06-07

  • MIDEAST CONFLICT

    US drops settlement freeze as precondition to peace talks

    Read more

  • MIDEAST PEACE TALKS

    PLO urges Abbas to quit talks over resumed construction

    Read more

  • MIDEAST PEACE TALKS

    Abbas hints that talks could go on after freeze deadline

    Read more

COMMENT(S)