U.S. to Ditch Push to Freeze Israeli Settlements

by Matthew Shaffer

Laura Rozen, at Politico, reports: 

The United States has decided to abandon an effort to persuade Israel to issue a new temporary West Bank settlement moratorium in order to get a resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

“After consulting with the parties, we have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming negotiations,” a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity Tuesday.

“We are still going to continue our engagement with both sides on the core issues and we continue to work towards the goal of a framework agreement,” the official said.

“We hope obviously to get the parties to direct talks but in the meantime we will continue our engagement with both sides,” the official said, declining to use the word “proximity” talks. “We are not changing course. We are still very much committed” to get a framework agreement. 

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