U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, presented to President Barack Obama, her report on Middle East efforts aiming at the resumption of Middle East peace talks. Clinton said that the report could be modified, and urged Israel to stop its settlement activities and urged the Palestinians to do more to counter ‘terror”.
Following the Thursday meeting, the US administration called on Israel to act more on halting its settlement activities, and repeated the call to the Palestinian Authority to ‘fight terror’.
A U.S. official said that although a slight progress was reached in the Middle East process, peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians seem far away.
Another official said that while Israel did not vow to halt its settlement activities, it said it would be willing limit such activities.
Clinton’s report came as Obama asked her and US Middle East special envoy, George Mitchell, to draft a document to summarize the development following the three-way summit which took place in New York between Israeli
Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and President Obama.
During the meeting that took place in September, Obama said that he expects a report from Clinton detailing progress in Middle East talks.
Mitchell is expected back in the Middle East soon. On Wednesday, he separately met in Washington with a number Israeli and Palestinian officials.
He carried repeated visits to the Middle East, met with several Arab, Israeli and Palestinian leaders, but the talks did not lead to a date for the resumption of the peace process.
The US said it would continue its efforts to ensure the resumption of the talks.
Netanyahu said that Israel is willing to resume the peace process without preconditions, and accused the Palestinians of causing the delay. Yet he did not vow to halt settlement activities but expressed ‘willingness to a temporary freeze’.