Thursday, November 11, 2010

No white smoke, but cloud after PM Netanyahu and Sec. Clinton meet for 7 hours in NY

Thursday's meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York lasted for more than seven hours, despite initial plans for a two-hour session at most.

Following an initial face-to-face meeting, American and Israeli negotiation team representatives convened at Netanyahu's hotel. According to estimates, both sides presented various proposals, and late

In joint statement, the two leaders said they had a "good discussion" and agreed on the importance of continuing direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians:

"Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary Clinton had a good discussion today, with a friendly and productive exchange of views on both sides. Secretary Clinton reiterated the United States' unshakable commitment to Israel's security and to peace in the region. The Prime Minister and the Secretary agreed on the importance of continuing direct negotiations to achieve our goals.

The Secretary reiterated that "the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome... "

An outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements." Those requiremen...ts will be fully taken into account in any future peace agreement.

The discussions between the Prime Minister and the Secretary focused on creating the conditions for the resumption of direct negotiations aimed at producing a two-state solution. Their teams will work closely together in the coming days toward that end".