Obama to convene international summit on achieving Mideast peace if Israeli-Palestinian talks fail

April 30, 2010

US President Barack Obama will convene an international summit on achieving Mideast peace if Israeli-Palestinian talks remain stalemated into September or October.

Obama has told several European leaders that the conference would be run by the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers – the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia – in a bid to forge a united global front for creating a Palestinian state.

The summit, according to the European leaders, would address such core issues as borders, security arrangements, Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem, Haaretz reported on Friday.

Obama is determined to exert his influence to establish a Palestinian state and several European leaders have vowed that the EU would support any peace plan proposed by Washington. Accordingly, though proximity talks are set to start in the coming weeks, Obama is already readying for the possibility that the indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks might reach a dead end.

The US proposal would likely be presented by the end of this year, the paper said.

On Saturday night, Arab League foreign ministers will convene to reiterate their support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to begin the US-mediated talks. The Arab bloc is expected to demand that the negotiations show progress within four months.

September and October will thus be critical months in determining whether the talks have borne fruit. The UN General Assembly will reconvene in late September, and the month will also mark one year since Obama hosted a largely unproductive trilateral summit with Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In addition, September 26 marks the end of the 10-month period Israel allocated for a freeze on West Bank settlement construction, and Netanyahu will have to decide whether to allow such building to be resumed.

Israeli officials said they believed Obama could postpone the international summit until after the midterm Congressional elections in November.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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