RAMALLAH, April 12 (Xinhua) -- A senior Palestinian official on Friday called on Israel to commit itself to its obligations in order to resume the stalled Middle East peace process.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a press statement emailed to Xinhua that Israel has to unconditionally implement its commitments soon.
"How can we talk about resuming the peace process without an Israeli government commitment to declare its acceptance of the two- state principle in accordance to 1967 borders," Erekat asked.
Erekat made the statement after meeting with Philip Gordon, White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region, in the West Bank city of Jericho.
The United States has been recently exerting efforts to resume the direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which had stopped in October 2010 after Israel refused to halt settlement building in the Palestinian territories.
Erekat added that halting settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is an Israeli commitment similar to the one of reopening the Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem and releasing prisoners.
A well-informed European source revealed last week that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to release some prisoners arrested before Israel signed Oslo peace treaties with the Palestinians in 1993.
JERUSALEM, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The United States Secretary of State John Kerry said that Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to promote Palestinian economic development as part of a confidence building measure between the two sides.
Kerry made the statement as he was leaving Israel, his third visit since assuming the position of secretary of state in February and added that further details would be announced during a press conference in Washington next week. Full story
WASHINGTON, April 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that there is "a window of opportunity" for the Israelis and the Palestinians to restart peace talks.
The president expressed optimism after meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the White House and after his top envoy John Kerry just concluded his latest visit to the Middle East. Full story