Mideast peace talks

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Israel Tapped John Kerry's Phone

Somewhere, Angela Merkel is smiling

(Newser) - It seems that people who live in glass houses shouldn't spy on cell phones : During the frenetic and doomed Mideast peace talks last year, John Kerry was furiously working the phones to both Israel and the Palestinians—and as der Spiegel reports in an exclusive that cites "reliable... More »

John Kerry: Israel's Settlements Are 'Illegitimate'

Netanyahu says he's 'concerned'

(Newser) - John Kerry threw a rhetorical jab at Israel, rebuking it for its latest round of West Bank settlement construction, after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem today. "Let me emphasize that the position of the United States is that we consider now, and have always considered, the... More »

Abbas: Not a Single Israeli in a Palestinian State

Palestinian leader stands firm as peace talks kick off

(Newser) - As his top aides and their Israeli counterparts sat down in Washington for the first direct peace talks in years , Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made it clear that he had not softened his stance on the presence of Israeli settlers and border forces in a future Palestinian state. "In... More »

In Marathon Mideast Talks, Kerry Cites 'Progress'

Wraps frantic Israel-Palestine negotiations with invite to return

(Newser) - John Kerry concluded four days of 'round-the-clock Mideast negotiations today with some hopeful words, saying a new round of talks on a final peace deal could be "within reach." "I ... know progress when I see it, and we are making progress," he told reporters. "... More »

Israel Returns Decades-Old Remains of Suicide Bombers

Defense minister suggests imposing Palestine border

(Newser) - Israel has given Palestinian authorities the remains of 91 militants, including suicide bombers, in what it says is an effort to restart peace talks. The militants, who killed hundreds of Israelis in attacks as far back as 1975, had been buried in an Israeli cemetery for "enemy combatants,"... More »

US, Afghanistan, Taliban: Secret Talks Under Way

Hamid Karzai is in Pakistan today to discuss negotiations

(Newser) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Pakistan today, one day after telling the Wall Street Journal that his country has entered into three-way peace talks with the Taliban and the US. Karzai is in Pakistan to discuss the negotiations and request that country's help; Islamabad's cooperation is necessary,... More »

US-Taliban Peace Talks Could Resume Within Weeks

Hamid Karzai just needs to give the OK

(Newser) - Peace talks between the US and the Taliban could resume within weeks, just as soon as Afghan President Hamid Karzai gives the go-ahead. The last tentative deal, which involved transferring five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay into Afghan custody, fell apart in December because Karzai would not cooperate, the Washington ... More »

In Murders' Wake, Israel OKs New Settlements

Tensions escalate

(Newser) - A mere day after an Israeli family of five was massacred while they slept , the AP reports that Israel has approved the construction of hundreds of new homes in West Bank settlements. The homes will be built in a part of the West Bank that Israel expects to hold onto... More »

Netanyahu to Abbas: Let's Do Nonstop Talks

Israeli PM apparently trying to jumpstart peace talks

(Newser) - Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is ready to head back to the negotiating table with Mahmoud Abbas—and stay there until a deal is struck, reports the AP. Seeking to jumpstart Mideast peace talks that stalled in September, Netanyahu said today that he's "ready to immediately sit down for continuous,... More »

US Drops Push for Israeli Settlement Freeze

But there's not really a clear plan to replace it

(Newser) - The White House is giving up on an Israeli settlement freeze as the ticket to reviving gasping peace talks. There doesn't appear to be a clear plan B, but officials say that the 90-day freeze Washington sought—on which PM Benjamin Netanyahu failed to secure a buy-in from his Cabinet—... More »

Netanyahu Will Push for Settlement Freeze

Official gives details of proposed deal

(Newser) - Despite the angry-sounding words recently exchanged between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over planned Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, Netanyahu has reportedly agreed to push for a new settlement freeze. Under the proposed deal, Netanyahu will ask his cabinet to freeze construction for just 90 more days... More »

Construction Begins as Settlement Freeze Expires

But Mahmoud Abbas not leaving peace talks yet

(Newser) - Bulldozers were already working to construct Jewish West Bank settlements this morning, after Israel’s construction freeze expired at midnight, but Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas did not immediately abandon the peace talks as he had threatened. Abbas will instead consult with Arab leaders and allow another week before making a... More »

Clock Ticking, US Scrambles to Save Mideast Talks

Israelis already celebrating end of settlement slowdown

(Newser) - With Palestinians threatening to walk away from Mideast peace talks, officials in Washington are scrambling to rescue the negotiations just hours before a slowdown on West Bank settlement construction expires. "They are talking. Intense efforts are ongoing," said one anonymous official. PM Benjamin Netanyahu has called for "... More »

Israel: We're Ready to Make a Deal on Settlements

But 'there cannot be zero construction'

(Newser) - Israel has signaled that it’s ready to make a deal to curb the growth of its West Bank settlements, just two days before the current partial construction moratorium expires. “Israel is prepared to reach a compromise acceptable to all parties,” a senior government official tells the AFP... More »

Obama to UN: Time for Mideast Peace Is Now

Ignore the cynics, Obama urges

(Newser) - Barack Obama gave his second speech to the UN General Assembly today, and spent most of his time calling for support for the US’ latest stab at peace in the Middle East. “Peace must be made by Israelis and Palestinians, but each of us has a responsibility to do... More »

As Talks Stall, Violence Flares in East Jerusalem

Private security guard fatally shoots Palestinian man

(Newser) - Unrest rippled through East Jerusalem today after the fatal shooting of a Palestinian man, the LA Times reports. It comes amid stalled progress on the new round of peace talks. The shooting by a private security guard employed by Jewish residents in a majority-Arab area provided the spark for clashes... More »

Egypt Paper Caught Doctoring Mubarak Photo

State newspaper tried to depict him leading the way in peace talks

(Newser) - Egypt's state-run paper got caught doctoring a photo (badly) to try to inflate the role of President Hosni Mubarak in the new Mideast peace talks. The photo in Al-Ahram this week showed Mubarak walking in front of other world leaders down a red carpet at the White House. In reality,... More »

Israelis on Peace Talks: Yawn

Culture has become cynical, apolitical

(Newser) - When the latest round of Mideast peace talks was announced, Roger Cohen of the New York Times watched the people of Tel Aviv shrug, yawn, and change the channel. “Peace talks! The sequel! It’s like Rocky! And I’m supposed to pay attention?” quipped one food writer. Israeli... More »

Clinton Kicks Off Mideast Peace Talks With Pep Talk

She expresses confidence, acknowledges 'we've been here before'

(Newser) - And they're off: Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas have begun formal peace talks after a public pep talk from Hillary Clinton. How intractable is their task? The Washington Post headline begins "Clinton Urges Patience," while the New York Times says "Clinton Calls for Bold Steps." One... More »

Obama Hopeful as Mideast Talks Begin

Israeli PM calls Abbas his 'partner in peace'

(Newser) - President Obama told reporters he was "cautiously hopeful" as Mideast peace talks began in Washington yesterday. The president—flanked by the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, and Jordan—urged the leaders to seize the opportunity to make a breakthrough, and vowed to do everything in his power... More »

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