Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: Middle East Quartet

Middle East Quartet's last minute deal

The Middle East Quartet of the U. N. EU, US and Russia, is pushing for the framework for renewed negotiations that would include a timeline for the birth of a Palestinian state.

The deal is intended to permit Mr. Abbas to follow through on his commitment to Palestinians to seek recognition for an independent state at the Security Council, a pledge he could not abandon entirely without considerable damage to his already battered leadership.

However, diplomats warned that a number of issues remain unresolved, including a Palestinian demand that the statement include a requirement that Israel halt construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

The proposals under discussion would have the Quartet statement say, at the Palestinians'behest, that the goal is a Palestinian state based on the borders at the time of the 1967 war that led to the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. It will also meet an Israeli demand by saying that talks will result in two countries with Israel as a Jewish state.

A Palestinian official acknowledged the plan was a focus of discussion with the Quartet although he cautioned that the leadership is concerned to ensure there is real momentum and that Israel is not permitted to drag out negotiations.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India