Problems at middle east talks ahead of kerry visit

problems at middle east talks ahead of kerry visit

"After all these rounds of negotiations, there is still nothing concrete," abbas reportedly said at a speech the night before in ramallah.

Kerry arrives in the region this tuesday evening for talks. On wednesday, he will meet with abbas and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. He is expected to make an effort to get negotiations back on track.

After years of ice, israel and the palastinians had resumed peace talks under U.S. Mediation at the end of july. Goals are a peace agreement within nine months, an independent palastinian state, and security guarantees for israel.

Abbas sharply criticized continued israeli settlement expansion in his speech, wafa reported. It is not prepared to give up "even one millimeter" of the arab eastern part of jerusalem as part of the negotiations. Also an israeli military presence in the jordan plain will not be agreed to.

Israel on sunday put out to tender the construction of some 1900 settler housing units in east jerusalem and the west bank. According to media reports, netanyahu stressed that israel had never promised to stop settlement expansion during the negotiations. He accused the palastinians of staging an "artificial crisis" of the negotiations.

Israeli negotiator zipi livni said she personally opposes settlement expansion in palastinian areas. "I am not in favor of further construction, it hurts israel, which is perceived as a colonial power," she told israeli radio on monday. "And it really bothers the palastinians."

At the same time, the justice minister stressed that israel had not violated any obligation. She declined to comment on the content of the negotiations. "It’s all very complicated, sensitive and vulnerable," said the chairwoman of hatnua’s jailed party.

Israel’s outgoing national security adviser, jaakov amidror, warned monday, according to media reports, that a failure of the peace talks would deepen israel’s international isolation.

The leader of the opposition merez party said monday that, according to her information, the U.S. Government plans to present its own draft for a peace agreement in the middle east in january. This was announced by kerry to netanyahu at a meeting in rome last month, sahava galon told the newspaper "haaretz". It cited senior palastinian, arab and U.S. Officials in doing so.

The U.S. Wanted to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough early next year, galon said. "The americans want to move from a phase of mediation between the two sides to active intervention."

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