US makes new call to revive Mideast peace talks
Washington: President Barack Obama`s national security advisor has made a new call to revive talks on setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
"We are clear, unambiguous and consistent," said General Jim Jones at a dinner late Thursday organized by the American Task Force on Palestine, a group representing Americans of Palestinian origin.
"The time has come to relaunch negotiations without preconditions to reach a final status agreement on two states," he said. "President Obama`s dedication to achieve these goals is unshaken, is committed, and we will be relentless in our pursuit of achieving these."
Jones described what is at stake in the conflict as "nothing less than the dignity and the security of all human beings."
The US administration has been seeking a deal that would see Israel strike peace agreements with the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon, and normalize relations with Arab states.
But Obama has called for a complete freeze of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, a demand that has encountered stiff opposition from Israel`s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Jones praised efforts by US Mideast envoy George Mitchell to restart peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that were suspended in December after the start of the Gaza war.
"We must move beyond talking about talks and get to the hard work of addressing the core issues that separate Israelis and Palestinians," Jones said.
In the coming days Mitchell and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are expected to submit to the White House recommendations on ways forward in the peace bid.
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