Mideast Quartet to take stock of current situation

09:19, July 07, 2011      

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When the Middle East Quartet comprising the European Union, the United Nations, the United States and Russia meet Monday in Washington, they will take stock of the current situation, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Wednesday.

She noted that since U.S. President Barack Obama outlined his vision in March about peacemaking between the Israelis and Palestinians based on the 1967 borders, many of the Quartet members have been engaged in the efforts to get them back to the table.

"With regard to the Quartet next week, the ministers are going to come together and take stock of where we are," she said at a regular news briefing. "So it's a good opportunity for stock- taking among the major ministers involved."

She acknowledged that it is hard to get the parties to resume talks. "You can see that this is hard work getting these parties back to the table, and that hard work will continue not only in the United States but by all the Quartet partners," she said.

However, she remained cool to a French plan to host a conference on the Middle East, saying that "A conference might make sense at a time when the parties have agreed to come back to the table and we're actually launching something, but to have a conference about how we have a negotiation doesn't make that much sense to us."

Nuland reiterated that it is not "a good idea" for the Palestinians to try to seek recognition of their statehood when the UN General Assembly meets in September.

The Obama administration brokered direct Israeli-Palestinian talks in September last year, and Obama announced at the time that a peace deal should be signed in a year. But the talks collapsed weeks later over the issue of Israel's settlement building in the occupied land.

Source: Xinhua
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