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Biden not expecting peace breakthrough during Middle East visit

Vice President who starts a five-day visit to the region isn't expecting major breakthroughs in Israel-PA talks.

Elad Benari, Canada,

Vice President Joe Biden
Vice President Joe Biden
Reuters

In his upcoming visit to Israel and the Middle East, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden does not expect major breakthroughs on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a White House official said on Friday, according to Reuters.

Biden leaves late Saturday for his five-day trip to the region.

A senior White House official told reporters Friday that Biden would not make any major recommendations on the Israeli-Palestinian issue but would focus on increasing cooperation on a number of issues, including the fight against the Islamic State and the Syrian conflict.

Biden's trip will include visits to the United Arab Emirates, Israel, areas assigned to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria, and Jordan.

While in Israel, Biden will meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He will also meet PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman.

Biden’s visit closes out a rocky relationship between Israel and the current American administration of President Barack Obama.

One of the most publicized disputes in that period was the so-called Ramot Biden” incident in March 2010, when plans for a new housing project in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem were announced while Biden was in Israel promoting talks between Israel and the PA.

Biden issued a sharp condemnation of the plans, while then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton berated Netanyahu during a 43-minute phone call.

While Biden isn't expecting a breakthrough in Israel-PA talks in his upcoming visit, the West has been pressing Israel to resume the talks recently.

The latest initiative in this matter is a French push for an international peace conference. France has threatened to unilaterally recognize the “State of Palestine” if this effort fails.

The PA has welcomed the French initiative but Netanyahu has rejected it, calling it "mystifying" and counterproductive and arguing that the proposal gives Palestinians no incentive to compromise.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)