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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Israel and Palestine are ready for the peace negotiations

Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators and US Secretary of
State
After more than sixty years of conflicts and after three years of silence in the talks between Israel and Palestine the new round of the peace negotiations has started this week with Israeli and Palestinian representatives meeting in USA for discussing the plan of the peace talks.

During Monday and Tuesday, 29 and 30 July, the peace negotiators representing both Middle Eastern countries have been participating in the meetings held in US Washington with the mediation of US Secretary of State John Kerry and made a decision that the peace talks should resume in the nearest future and gave themselves the framework of nine months to resolve the crisis between two countries.




The meetings held in USA included the closed-door meetings of Tyipi Livni, representing Israel, and Saeb Erekat, representing Palestine, with US President Barak Obama and also Secretary of State John Kerry and a few meeting with each other without any mediators. The US administration declared there will be no details of those talks at the moment due to the sensitivity of the issue and as the secrecy of the process at the initial stage is inevitable. But both the negotiating sides are positive about the future talks. US administration shares the positive expectations too though the process of the peace negotiations will be not easy.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks meeting

Israeli peace negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is a known proponent of the two-state solution, expressed the hope that these negotiations which will resume within a few weeks either on the territory of Israel or of Palestine will have positive results. She also stated that these negotiations will be hard but the intentions of the both sides are to reach an agreement and not to argue over the past of the both countries but to make decisions for the future.

Palestinian chief peace negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Palestinians have suffered enough from this conflict and the positive decision which could be reached during the talks will be for their benefits. “It’s time for Palestinians to have their own, independent and sovereign state”, stressed Mr. Erekat.

The key issues of the peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel are the issues of the territories and the borders, the status of Jerusalem, the issue of Jewish settlements built on the West Bank and also the situation with the Palestinian refugees and prisoners as well.

US in its turn seek a positive result in these talks as it is an issue of peace and stability in the whole Middle Eastern region.

The main line of the talks is that Israel should remain as an independent Jewish state and should save its Jewish identity and should exist peacefully next to the independent and sovereign Palestinian state with the territories including Gaza Strip and West Bank, the lands occupied by Israelis during the 1967 war.

We would remind that the issue of the borders and lands was one of the toughest during the previous talks in 2010 which failed as Israel refused to stop the building of its settlements on the territory of the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Meanwhile there are different moods and expectations regarding the historical peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

US administrations, as was mentioned above, have generally positive expectations though it is no doubt the negotiations will be hard. But many political scientists and analysts express their skepticism regarding the possible results of the talks and stressing they will possibly also fail.
Israeli peace negotiator Tzipi Livni expects good results of the peace talks with reaching the solution of the two states existing peacefully. Similar sentiments have been expressed by Saeb Erekat as well.

Israeli President Shimon Peres is also very positive about the negotiations and believes they will have positive impact on the development of the relations between the two states and believes the two-state solution is possible.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu though is not a big supporter of the ongoing peace talks as some of the members of his political coalition opposing the peace talks and the solution of the two states.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
As for the Palestinian leaders, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas believes the results of the peace talks in this year could be positive but he also pointed to some really though issues to be discussed during the peace talks process. Thus he stated that the borders and territories of Palestine should be sovereign and there should be no Jewish settlements of Jewish presence on the Palestinian territories, either military or civilian. Any presence of the Israeli on the territories of Palestine should be considered being illegal.
The leaders of Islamist group Hamas ruling in Gaza Strip are opposing the peace talks with Israel.

But even despite the fact that the situation is still tense, the issue is very sensitive and that many foreign policy experts face their concerns and doubts over the positive results of the peace talks, this round of negotiations between Israel and Palestine after three years of silence is an important step on the path of resolving the old conflict between two countries and could bring more peace and stability to the whole region.