U.S. Urges Renewed Mideast Peace Effort in 2013

W460

The United States Wednesday urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume direct talks in 2013 and move toward peace.

"As we turn the calendar to 2013... now is the time for leaders on both sides to display real leadership, to focus on the work that's necessary to return to direct negotiations," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

The U.S. urged "both sides to clearly demonstrate that they are serious about achieving two states living side by side in peace and security," she said, calling on both sides to halt any "counter-productive unilateral actions."

With President Barack Obama starting his second White House term this month and upcoming elections in Israel the two sides are heading into a particularly important period, she stressed.

"We have an environment that was quite fraught and quite difficult at the end of 2012, so the question is whether we can make a fresh start in 2013, and that's going to require restraint on all sides," Nuland said.

"We want 2013 to be a better year, we really do."

Talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since September 2010, with the Palestinians insisting on a settlement freeze before returning to the negotiating table and the Israelis insisting there be no preconditions.

But the Obama administration has also been highly criticized by some for putting efforts to try to reach an Middle East peace deal on the back-burner.

Some analysts say that as Obama starts his second term in office, he might make a renewed push for a peace accord, which has eluded successive American administrations for decades.

Comments 4
Missing anonymetexasusa 02 January 2013, 22:20

Obama attempted to be an honest broker by trying to convince Natanyahu to extend settlement freeze Netanyahu rejected it and humiliated VP Biden in his ME tour.
Obama also pushed for recognition of 1967 line as basis of 2 state solution - Netanyahu went to Aipac and inflamed them against Obama. Obama wishing to get re-elected gave up on the matter.

Missing anonymetexasusa 02 January 2013, 22:27

Hard to negociate when Natanyahu is now publicly planning to topple Abbas & Fayyad, and is endorsing their replacement with Hamas. Just so as he dodges his true enemies "2 state solution & peace".
Remember 66% of Israelis do not support the 2 state solution, and they will re-elect Netanyahu to office soon.

Missing anonymetexasusa 02 January 2013, 22:41

Netanyahu even went against President Perez, the sole remaining voice of reason & moderation in Israeli government, who was urging Netanyahu not to give up on Abbas & Fayyad. Perez views were met with insolent/disrespectful comments by Netanyahu, and harshly repressed.

Default-user-icon John Marina (Guest) 02 January 2013, 23:01

A new Hitler in the Middle East, this guy listens to no one simply because he knows who is behind to protect him. He is also being helped better with the oil countries who are too busy now to worry about Abbas. If Hammas takes over - bye bye Charlie