Mideast peace talks

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Russia May Have Brokered Mideast 'Breakthrough'

Israel, Palestine have agreed 'in principle' to relaunch peace talks in Moscow

(Newser) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed "in principle" to meet in Moscow to relaunch Mideast peace talks after a two-plus-year hiatus, Russia's Foreign Ministry announced Thursday, though the AP reports that it's not clear when. "The most important thing is to... More »

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 »

Israel Frees Palestinians— Then Announces Construction

Jerusalem move sparks anger after prisoner release

(Newser) - Israel announced new construction in east Jerusalem—an area the Palestinians demand for their future state—just hours after it freed a group of Palestinian prisoners as part of a deal to set in motion peace talks. The building is seen as an attempt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to... 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 »

Kerry Convinces Israel and Palestine to Resume Peace Talks

Netanyahu and Abbas agree to start talks again tomorrow in Washington

(Newser) - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume long-stalled direct peace talks tomorrow, according to the State Department. It says both sides have accepted invitations from John Kerry to come to Washington "to formally resume direct final status negotiations." A department spokesperson says Kerry called Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas... More »

Israel to Free 104 Palestinian Prisoners

Solid step toward resuming peace talks

(Newser) - Israel's Cabinet today approved the release of 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners, clearing a hurdle toward a possible resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after five years as the US pushes to bring the two sides back to the table. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will next hold preliminary talks in Washington... More »

Kerry Sees Breakthrough for Mideast Peace Talks

Israel, Palestinians might resume negotiations next week after years-long hiatus

(Newser) - Every US secretary of state has to try, right? John Kerry says Israel and the Palestinians will meet soon in Washington to finalize an agreement on relaunching peace negotiations for the first time in five years. Kerry told reporters that he and the two sides "reached an agreement that... 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 »

Taliban Ready for Peace Talks: Afghan Peace Council Chief

Former president says 'first steps' being taken

(Newser) - A former Afghan president who heads a new peace council said today that he's convinced the Taliban are ready to negotiate peace. Burhanuddin Rabbani told reporters in Kabul that the Taliban have not completely rejected the idea of negotiating a nonmilitary resolution of the war. "They have some conditions... 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 »

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