Quartet to Meet, Discuss Stalled Peace Process
The Quartet for Middle East Peace – the European Union, Russia, United Nations, and United States – will meet on Monday in an attempt to revive the stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
According to a report in the Moscow-based RIA Novosti news agency, the meeting will be held in New York and will be attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The report said that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also be in attendance. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the Quartet’s special envoy to the Middle East, former British premier Tony Blair, will participate via a video link.
The last meeting of the Quartet took place in September 2011 in the UN headquarters, RIA Novosti noted. During that meeting, which took place after the PA submitted its unilateral statehood bid to the UN, the Quartet suggested a timetable which will allegedly bring forth a peace agreement by the end of 2012.
Jordan recently hosted a series of “exploratory meetings” between representatives of Israel and the PA, based on the Quartet’s proposal, but the PA refused to continue discussions after five meetings.
Currently, the peace process remains frozen as Abbas continues to impose preconditions on negotiations.
Last week it was reported that Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, is set to deliver a letter in which the government of Israel and Palestinian Authority detail their conditions for peace talks to resume.
The letter repeats the PA’s previous demands, which are seen by Israeli officials as an excuse to forestall talks. These include a demand that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as a basis for future borders, release terrorists who were imprisoned before 1994, and halt settlement construction in the 'disputed territories.'
The PA is also threatening to cancel all agreements signed after 2000 if Israel does not agree to their demands before peace talks.
Last week, PA leaders clarified during a meeting with Judeh they will not resume peace talks with Israel, unless Israel freezes construction in Judea and Samaria.