Diplomacy by Proxy
Posted on Mar 7, 2010
A new round of “proximity talks” between Israel and the Palestinians may be announced as early as Monday, with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden expected to arrive in Israel on a mission to get indirect negotiations going between the two sides. —JCL
The US vice-president, Joe Biden, is due in Israel tomorrow for an American diplomatic initiative to start indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The new round of so-called “proximity talks” could be announced as early as tomorrow, but there is scepticism on both sides about the chance of any agreement. George Mitchell, the US special envoy to the Middle East, will shuttle between Israeli and Palestinian leaders for four months hoping to find common ground. Although the talks are low-key, they mark the first return to a peace process since Israel’s war in Gaza more than a year ago.
Mitchell flew into Israel on Saturday night and met with Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, for 90 minutes. He saw Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, today and will meet Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas tomorrow.
AP / Nasser Shiyoukhi
Israeli soldiers fire tear gas at Palestinian protesters, not seen, during a demonstration last month against Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank.