The Quartet on the Middle East made up of the EU, UN, US, and Russia have neglected to release a statement from Mondays meeting in Washington on a way out of the impasse in peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli leadership. Israeli and Palestinian sources told Haaretz that there is no solution to the current stall in peace talks and that Palestinians are determined to push ahead with plans for a UN statehood bid in September. Recent meetings among the Middle East Quartet made no progress on bringing Palestinian and Israeli negotiators closer together. No significant developments could be reported following the meetings and the quartet failed to make any announcement.
A US President Obama official, describing significant gaps between the two sides, reported to international media present at the meeting that “realistically … more work needs to be done to close those gaps”.
According to an anonymous source within the US administration talking to Maan news agency all members of the Quartet agreed on US President Obama’s outline for the basis for peace talks as 1967 borders with agreed land swaps.
With the certainty now that peace talks cannot be revived in the short term Palestinian leaders have expressed their insistence on continuing with current plans to declare statehood in September at the UN.
Palestinian negotiators have stated they are confident they can secure 130 UN member state votes in favour of the proposal by the end of the month. The proposal can likely bank on votes from the non aligned nations which make up 118 members. Within the EU Palestinian diplomats hope to secure yes votes from Ireland, Spain, Luxembourg, Sweden and possibly France and the UK.
China became the most recent state to declare its support for the Palestinian initiative. The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi set out his countries position during talks with a Palestinian delegation in Beijing, according to Wafa.
A detailed statehood proposal will be handed to UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon at the end of this month in order for a vote in UN General Assembly to go ahead in September.