Sunday, April 7, 2013

Report: Obama brokers two-month window for diplomacy between Israel, Palestinian Authority

President Obama reportedly brokered a two-month diplomacy window between Israel and the Palestinian Authority during his trip to the Middle East last month.

Citing Israeli and Palestinan officials, McClatchy reports that he and Secretary of State John Kerry persuaded Israel not to announce any new settlement activity on the West Bank and Palestinans not to take any unilateral actions at the United Nations.

The eight-week stand-down would then allow Kerry to take a crack at helping to broker a long-term settlement. He is headed to the region Sunday.

The basis for talks would be an initiative proposed by Saudi Arabia 11 years ago calling for normalization of Israel's relations with all Arab states in exchange for a sovereign Palestinian state, McClatchy reports.

While Obama made settling the conflict a centerpiece of some of his remarks during his trip there, U.S. officials downplayed chances for success and have not offered specifics publicly.


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