Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

At Peace Talks, Arab Leaders Call for Settlement Freeze and Final Status

At the launch of renewed peace talks, Arab leaders called on Israel to sustain a settlement freeze and to negotiate final status issues.

“We call on the Israelis to carry out their obligations, including a freeze on settlements activities, which is not setting a precondition but a call to implement an agreed obligation,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in remarks delivered before he dined at the White House with President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Egyptian and Jordanian leaders.

Abbas also made clear he expects the talks to encompass a final status agreement.

“We will spare no effort, and will work diligently and tirelessly to ensure that these new negotiations achieve their goals and objectives in dealing with all of the issues: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, border security, water, as well as the release of all our prisoners,” he said.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak also touched on the final status negotiations and the settlement freeze in his remarks. Jordan’s King Abdullah said an agreement must be concluded sooner rather than later.

Abbas has threatened to bolt the talks unless Netanyahu extends a 10-month partial moratorium on settlement expansion that is due to end Sept. 26. Netanyahu has indicated that any further settlement freezes will come as part of a peace agreement, which is not expected for at least a year.

The Israeli government also favors establishing security measures before advancing to final status talks.

“Peace must also be defended against its enemies,” Netanyahu said in his remarks. “We want the skyline of the West Bank to be dominated by apartment towers, not missiles. We want the roads of the West Bank to flow with commerce, not terrorists.”

Netanyahu also called on Abbas not to dwell on the failed efforts of the past.

“If we work together, we can take advantage of the great benefits afforded by our unique place under the sun,” he said. “We’re the crossroads of three continents, at the crossroads of history, and the crossroads of the future. Our geography, our history, our culture, our climate, the talents of our people can be unleashed to create extraordinary opportunities in tourism, in trade, in industry, in energy, in water, in so many areas.”

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.