Clinton says US can’t force Israel, PA into talk 15Feb10 February 16, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  15 February 2010

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday made an unusual acknowledgement of frustrations with the long-frozen Palestinian-Israeli negotiation process.

Speaking at the US-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, on the first day of a trip to the Middle East, Clinton said, know people are disappointed that we have not yet achieved a breakthrough.”

“The President, Senator Mitchell, and I are also disappointed. But we must remember that neither the United States nor any country can force a solution. The parties themselves must resolve their differences through negotiations,” she added, according to a transcript.

“The United States stands ready to play an active and sustained role, and to support the parties as they work to resolve all permanent status issues including security for Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees, and Jerusalem,” she also said.

US President Barack Obama’s administration has pushed unsuccessfully for a year to bring Israeli and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) negotiators back to the table. Talks were broken off in late 2009 when Israel launched a three-week war on the Gaza Strip that left more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

The US recently offered to broker “proximity talks” in which a US mediator would shuttle between the Israeli and the Palestinian side.

Clinton met on Sunday with Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Ath-Thani, the prime minister of Qatar in Doha. After their meeting the two said their meeting dealt with Yemen, Somalia, Iran, and the Palestinians.

At a joint news conference following the meeting, the Qatari leader said his country wound not be opposed to proximity talks.


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