Clinton pushes for resumption of talks between Israel, Palestinians
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried Saturday to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, whose chief negotiator characterized the process as "stuck", CNN reported.
Clinton met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Abu Dhabi before flying to Israel for meetings with Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"I want to see both sides begin [negotiations] as soon as possible," Clinton said Saturday at an evening news conference with Netanyahu. "The important thing ... is to get into the negotiations," she said.
"I gave the same message today when I met with President Abbas."
Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, told CNN on Saturday that Abbas emphasized to Clinton that talks have not resumed because the Israeli government has not lived up to what he called its obligations, which include halting settlement building in the occupied West Bank and in predominantly Palestinian East Jerusalem.
Erekat said that Abbas wants negotiations to pick up where they left off with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and that the Israelis do not. That, Erekat said, is evidence that Netanyahu has "no interest" in continuing negotiations.
He characterized the process as "stuck" because of what he said was Netanyahu's lack of desire to restart negotiations.