Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Positive atmosphere, No breakthrough - in renewed Israeli/Palestinian peace talks

AP reports:

No breakthroughs emerged Tuesday from the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in more than a year, the foreign minister of host Jordan said, adding the two sides agreed to keep talking and meet next week.

The minister, Nasser Judeh, said the talks were held in a positive atmosphere. Although there were no breakthroughs on matters of "substance," he said, "the important thing is the two sides have met face to face."

"We agreed that the discussions will be continuous," he said, "and will take place here in Jordan."

A diplomat who attended the larger meeting said the talks were "serious."

"It was a brainstorming session in which both sides, the Israelis and Palestinians, showed eagerness to restart peace negotiations," the diplomat said.

During the meeting Attorney Molcho conveyed a message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he should take the opportunity to return to the negotiating table.

The meeting primarily addressed ways to create a direct line of communication between Netanyahu and Abbas. Israel expressed willingness to accept the Quartet's conditions which place a one year deadline on negotiations. It is possible Abbas and Netanyahu will meet soon.

The Jordanian FM noted that Erekat presented his outlook on borders and security and that Molcho received a Palestinian mission statement and promised to study it in the next few days.