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January 23, 2022

Israel calls for peace talks amid Palestinian statehood push

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she supports “two-state solution”. Abbas plans to formally submit the statehood bid Friday.

UNITED NATIONS – The Israeli prime minister on Monday appealed for direct peace negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to be started in New York and continued in Jerusalem and Ramallah, CNN said. “Unilateral measures are not the way to advance peace between us,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referring to an Abbas plan to submit a member application for a state of Palestine to the United Nations Security Council on Friday.
It was not clear whether the Palestinian leader responded to Netanyahu’s call for talks, or whether a fresh round of negotiations could elicit a compromise that the last round could not. Peace talks between the two sides broke down a year ago. Earlier Monday, Abbas told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that he still intends to submit the statehood bid, said U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky, despite a tide of controversy accompanying the measure.

Abbas has pointed to decades of occupation and years of failed negotiations, prompting the move. Monday’s meeting, which took place in New York at the start of the United Nations General Assembly, is part of what is expected to be a series of high-level meetings surrounding the hot topic of Palestinian statehood and the likely ripple effects of a formal application. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added Monday that the American government continues to support a “two-state solution” in an effort to resolve the ongoing conflict, but also noted that she is engaged in “intensive ongoing diplomacy.” The U.S. has pledged to block the application should it reach the Security Council, but it is likely eager to head-off a scenario that would involve an American veto – a move widely seen as unpopular in the region. Abbas, however, has appeared largely undeterred. In a speech Friday that appeared both an attempt to manage domestic expectations and push the statehood issue, the Palestinian leader told an audience in Ramallah, “We are going to the United Nations to attain full membership.”

Netanyahu flew to New York on Tuesday and was scheduled to meet this week with U.S. President Barack Obama, according to Voice of America. Netanyahu has said the Palestinians’ U.N. bid is doomed to fail and that Palestinians would ultimately seek renewed talks. Abbas was set to meet Tuesday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Monday there is great risk if the conflict is not resolved, and that the only solution is to resume negotiations.

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