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US, Jordan urge speedy upgrade in Middle East peace talks

[ 2010-07-09 11:33]     字号 [] [] []  
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US, Jordan urge speedy upgrade in Middle East peace talks

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh speak to the media at the State Department in Washington, 8 Jul 2010.

The US-Jordanian meeting came only two days after a White House visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he told President Obama his government is prepared to take concrete steps to upgrade the indirect talks.

Standing alongside her Jordanian counterpart, Secretary Clinton said they both believe moving to direct talks as soon as possible is in the best interest of everyone in the region.

"We believe that all the issues that need to be resolved between the parties must be discussed in direct negotiations," said Clinton. "The sooner that the Israelis and Palestinians get into direct negotiations, the sooner they can actually make decisions. That's the way it's worked in the past, that is the only way it can work today."

Foreign Minister Judeh, for his part, said the atmospherics of the indirect talks being mediated by US Middle east envoy George Mitchell seem to be encouraging, and provide a lot of room for hope.

The Jordanian official said the 2002 Arab League peace initiative offers the prospect of full, normalized relations between Israel and 57 Arab and Islamic countries, if there is a final peace accord providing for Israel withdrawal from occupied areas. He said in the interim, Arab states are prepared to tangibly support full peace negotiations.

"I think once direct negotiations resume, you will see an engagement by the overall Arab context and tangible support that you refer to," said Judeh. "But let's not put the cart before the horse. Let's try to get a process going, not another open-ended process, not another timeless kind of engagement. We need to see benchmarks and we need to see traction on the ground."

The Jordanian Foreign Minister was not specific about what tangible support for peace talks might entail. US envoy Mitchell has long been urging moderate Arab states to make confidence-building gestures toward Israel, such as granting airline over-flight rights and reopening trade missions closed after the Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas at the end of 2008.

Key US Arab allies, including Saudi Arabia, have rejected such steps, which Mitchell says would encourage a political consensus for peace in Israel.

Foreign Minister Judeh, whose country signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, said a conducive environment for full peace talks requires an end to what he termed provocative and unilateral actions by Israel in occupied areas, including housing demolitions and evictions of Palestinians.

Judeh said direct talks should resume at the point they broke off in 2008, when the Palestinian Authority and government of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were said to be in broad agreement on the outlines of a Palestinian state.

Clinton said such a state should be independent, viable and contiguous with borders based on pre-1967 truce lines, but with agreed land swaps and reflecting subsequent developments.

traction: the action of pulling something along a surface; the power that is used for doing this 牵引;拖拉;牵引力;拉力

entail: to involve something that cannot be avoided 牵涉;须要;使必要


conducive: making it easy, possible or likely for something to happen 使容易(或有可能)发生的

contiguous: touching or next to something 相接的;相邻的

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(来源:VOA 编辑:陈丹妮)