Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Peace. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Peace. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, Φεβρουαρίου 18, 2015

Germany says peace plan for Ukraine 'damaged' not dead

Germany condemned the seizure of a strategic east Ukrainian town by pro-Russian rebels on Wednesday as a "massive violation" of a ceasefire, but said it was too early to call the broader Minsk peace plan dead or ratchet up sanctions against Moscow.

The withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the encircled town of Debaltseve on Wednesday was a blow to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's efforts to clinch a negotiated solution to the year-long conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

But Berlin appears to be hoping that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who the West accuses of actively supporting the rebels, will respect other aspects of a peace plan agreed last year in the Belarus capital, now that the rebels have achieved their goal of capturing Debaltseve.
Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert pointed to a resolution by the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday as a positive signal. Backed by Russia, the resolution called on all parties in eastern Ukraine to stop fighting and to implement the Minsk peace deal.

"The German government resolutely condemns the military actions by the separatists in Debaltseve. It is a massive violation of the ceasefire that went into effect on Sunday," Seibert said.
"We believe the Minsk process is under strain, it has perhaps been damaged, but we still believe it makes sense to continue working. The UN resolution appears to send a signal in the right direction."

Merkel, speaking later at a gathering of her conservative party in eastern Germany, did not mention the developments in Debaltseve, but said she wanted to work with Russia, not against it, to restore peace in Europe.

Some German politicians, including Juergen Hardt, a defense expert in her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said the siege of the town was reason to consider tough new sanctions against Moscow.
But Merkel's spokesman was more cautious, saying more punitive measures hinged on developments on the ground in eastern Ukraine.
"If the fighting doesn't stop after the fall of Debaltseve, new sanctions are likely," said Ulrich Speck of the Carnegie Europe think tank.
"I don't think yet that the 'nuclear economic option', cutting off Russia from SWIFT, is going to happen," he added, referring to the international bank transaction system.
Although Merkel's pursuit of dialogue with Putin is popular at home, the rebel advance has left her vulnerable to critics abroad, among them hawks in the U.S. Congress, who have accused her of naively persisting with diplomacy in the face of repeated broken promises by Putin.
In a statement on Tuesday, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham accused Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, who negotiated the ceasefire last week with Putin and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, of "legitimizing the dismemberment of a sovereign nation in Europe".
They have called on President Barack Obama to send defensive arms to the Ukrainian army, a step Merkel opposes and cautioned against during a visit to Washington earlier this month. The rebel siege of Debaltseve could increase pressure on the president to ignore her warnings and send such weapons.
"The open question is what Putin does now," said a senior German official who requested anonymity.
"Is Debaltseve another step in a process that goes even further or does Putin now have an interest in sticking to the other aspects of the Minsk agreement? If Minsk does fall apart then there will have to be consequences." 

Πέμπτη, Δεκεμβρίου 11, 2014

Fidel Castro awarded China's Confucius Peace Prize

Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been awarded with the Confucius Peace prize, China’s own version of the Nobel Peace Prize which organizers of the alternative distinction consider biased against the Asian giant.

The ceremony was held at the Beijing University with Cuban students representing Castro, receiving a statuette, a diploma and money on behalf of the historic leader of Cuba’s revolution.

“As Cuba’s leader, when managing international relations, especially relations with the US, he did not use military force or violence to resolve controversies and disputes,” the co-founder of the prize, Liu Zhiqin, was quoted as saying by the official newspaper Global Times.

  • 88-year-old Castro was elected by a 9-member jury who analised the nominations of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, South Korea president Park Geun-hye, the Shangai Cooperation Organization and the Chinese Taoist Association.

  • The Confucius Peace Prize was first granted in 2010 meant to be China's answer to the Nobel Peace Prize, a timely riposte to the honoring of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo by Oslo.

First winner of the Confucius award was Taiwanese ex vice-president Lien Chan while Russian President Vladimir Putin received the price in 2011. 

In 1012, it was granted and shared by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Chinese scientist Yuan Longping. Last year, it was the turn for Yi Cheng, Zen Master and honorary head of the Buddhist Association.

Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 12, 2014

Russia slams US sanctions, says counter-measures 'won't take long'

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has slammed the latest round of US sanctions over Ukraine as “another hostile move.” Moscow said that this will not change the country’s position, and added that imposing “counter-sanctions will not take long.”
The Foreign Ministry accused the US of adopting a confrontational course toward Russia.
It’s the US that is banking on the escalation of Ukraine’s internal conflict and pressing Russia with sanctions,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that this comes after a ceasefire has been reached in eastern Ukraine at huge effort and there is a hope for a dialogue between the rebel forces and Kiev.
"Of course our retaliatory measures will not keep you waiting, but this is a forced measure," the online statement said.

It should seem that in the White House they must have got on point long ago that sanctions-juggling will never make us change our position, which is a matter of principle,” the Foreign Ministry said. “We won’t act in order to please the geopolitical ambitions of the United States or intentions of those overseas politicians who press for using ‘orchestrated Ukraine’ to control Russia.”

The ministry also said that “those in Washington who shortsightedly continue to feed the sanctions machine” were also putting national security at risk, as Russia plays a key role in fighting global terrorism and drug trafficking. The door for “a constructive and honest bilateral cooperation” remains open – “if the White House is ready for it,” the FM concluded. 

On Friday, the US extended the reach of its sanctions against Russia. Those hit the country’s biggest lenders – Sberbank, Gazprombank and Rosselkhozbank – as well as several state-owned technology firms and energy companies.
Oil and gas sector companies were also targeted with new limitations imposed on exploration technology for Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft.
The US also said it would prohibit “transactions in, provision of financing for, or other dealings in new debt of greater than 90 days maturity issued by two additional Russian energy companies, Gazprom Neft and Transneft.”
On the same day, the EU imposed its new round of sanctions on Russia. The EU restricted Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft from raising long-term debt on European capital markets, as well as placing services required for oil and gas extraction in the Arctic on the list and restricting ‘dual use’ military technology exports to Russian companies.
Additionally, Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Rosselkhozbank (Russian Agricultural Bank) – have been banned from receiving any long-term (over 30-day) loans from EU companies.
Putin responded to the EU's move saying that Russia has not ruled out responding with tit-for-tat sanctions. However, measures would only be implemented if they did not harm Russia, and if they would help protect the country, he said.
The new EU sanctions could be appealed in the World Trade Organization. Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukayev told reporters in Brussels on Friday: “I believe that even the previous round of sanctions was the reason enough to appeal with the WTO. And we will certainly do it.” 

Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 11, 2014

New anti-Russian sanctions will not be left without proper reaction from Moscow (FM)

New anti-Russian sanctions will not be left without proper reaction from Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday after the EU adopted a new package of anti-Russian sanctions.

The European Union seems to have made its choice against peace settlement for the crisis in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The EU actions are totally devoid of any logic and common sense, it said. A course at deteriorating the already tense relations with Russia that has been taken by certain forces in the EU is taking shape now, the ministry noted.

“In connection with the statement of European Council President Herman Van Rompuy of September 11 on introduction of a new package of anti-Russian sanctions, we state the following,” the ministry said.

“Making this step, the EU actually made its choice against the process of peace settlement of the intra-Ukrainian crisis, support for which is expected from all responsible forces in Europe,” the statement said.

“Today, Brussels and heads of EU member states should give a clear answer to EU citizens why they are subjected to the risks of confrontation, economic stagnation and loss of jobs,” the ministry said. “Give people a chance for peace at last,” it said.

Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 09, 2014

Peace means dignity, well-being for all, not just absence of war – (UN officials)

UN, 9 September 2014 – Underscoring that peace is more than just the absence of war, United Nations officials today stressed the need for concerted efforts to achieve the common vision of a life of dignity and well-being for all. 

“We know that peace cannot be decreed solely through treaties – it must be nurtured through the dignity, rights and capacities of every man and woman,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks to the High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace, convened by the General Assembly. “It is a way of being, of interacting with others, of living on this planet.”

In September 1999, the Assembly adopted, by consensus, a resolution on the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. Since then, it has met annually to discuss the issue, as well as how to advance this noble goal.
Mr. Ban said that peace means access to education, health and essential services – especially for girls and women; giving every young woman and man the chance to live as they choose; and developing sustainably and protecting the planet’s biodiversity.
“More than ever, it means living with others on the basis of tolerance, respect and mutual understanding,” he added.
“We are challenged today. We join forces here to promote a culture of peace, and yet all around us we see a spreading virus of war, of conflict, extremism, violence, hatred and terrorism.
“But I am convinced that our strongest arsenal in the face of these threats is not weapons or missiles or guns,” he stated. “It is our shared values … our common vision for peace, development and human rights … our universal aspiration for a meaningful culture of peace.”
Delivering remarks on behalf of Assembly President John Ashe, Vice-President Isabelle F. Picco said the desire for a culture of peace knows no boundaries and is inherent in the hearts of all people.
“It transcends gender, culture, religion, faith and belief, and unites the rich and poor, the old and young, East and West, North and South around a common desire.”
She added that the post-2015 development agenda that Member States are currently working on must be rooted in a culture of peace.
“Peace as an overarching theme must be woven throughout the goals and underpin the targets,” Ms. Picco stated. “And our new agenda must be backed by the political will, commitment, partnerships and financial support to help usher in a new era of peace on a global level.”

Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 23, 2014

Good borders make good neighbours, Merkel tells Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday the standoff over Ukraine could be solved only if control was tightened over the Ukraine-Russia border across which, the West alleges, Russia has been funnelling arms to help a separatist rebellion.

Merkel was visiting Kiev as a prelude to a meeting next week between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders that diplomats say is the best chance in months of a peace deal in eastern Ukraine, where government forces are fighting pro-Moscow rebels.

She arrived as tensions flared up again. NATO has alleged Russia's military is active inside Ukraine helping the rebels, and Moscow angered Kiev and its Western allies by sending an aid convoy into Ukraine against Kiev's wishes.

"There must be two sides to be successful. You cannot achieve peace on your own. I hope the talks with Russia will lead to success," Merkel said, looking ahead to the meeting on Tuesday involving Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.

"The plans are on the table, about how you can achieve peace and good cooperation between the countries. Now actions must follow," she told a news briefing.

She said the main obstacle was the lack of controls along the nearly 2,000 km (1,300 mile) border. She proposed a deal between Kiev and Moscow on monitoring of the frontier by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

"Now we need a two-sided ceasefire linked to a clear controlling of the Russian-Ukrainian border, Otherwise peace won't be achieved," Merkel said.

Peace proposals

Diplomats say Merkel came to Kiev with two objectives: primarily to show support for Kiev but also to urge Poroshenko to be open to peace proposals when he meets Putin next week in the Belarus capital, Minsk.

Poroshenko, whose forces have been forcing the rebels to retreat, said Kiev had offered ceasefires before and they were flouted. He said no peace deal was worth sacrificing Ukraine's territorial integrity, and placed the blame at Russia's door.

"Ukraine is ready and capable of guaranteeing a peaceful settlement," Poroshenko said. "What is stopping us are the foreign mercenaries. Take the people with guns out of our territory....and peace in Ukraine will be quickly restored."....................http://www.france24.com/en/20140823-merkel-kiev-aid-convoy-returns-russia-ukraine/


Τετάρτη, Μαΐου 28, 2014

Obama makes defiant defense of US restraint. Terrorism remains biggest threat to US

US President Barack Obama mounted a defiant defense of his global leadership Wednesday, rebuking critics who see him as weak but warning that not every global threat justifies a US military response.

In a major speech at the West Point military academy, Obama denied US power had ebbed under his watch, after he withdrew troops from Iraq and is doing the same in Afghanistan.

He also pledged to ramp up support for Syrian rebels, vowed to stand up to Russia over Ukraine and promised to make drone strikes against terror suspects more transparent.

He vowed to hold China accountable to international "rules of the road" in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

"To say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution," Obama said.

"Since World War II, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures - without thinking through the consequences," Obama said, in an apparent reference to the Iraq war, which he has branded a disaster.

The president's speech came with his foreign policy, which was once seen as a political asset, under assault from critics who believe he is being outmaneuvered by strongmen like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Here's my bottom line: America must always lead on the world stage. If we don't, no one else will. The military ... is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership."

Obama was particularly exercised by those who complain he should have deployed the US military in Syria or made a more robust strategic response to Russia's annexation of Ukraine, or who complain that he has left Iraq or Afghanistan to fend for themselves.

"Tough talk often draws headlines but war rarely conforms to slogans," Obama said.

"But US military action cannot be the only, or even primary, component of our leadership in every instance.

"Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail," Obama told a graduation ceremony at the college.

"And because the costs associated with military action are so high, you should expect every civilian leader - and especially your commander in chief - to be clear about how that awesome power should be used."

Obama said he was "haunted" by the deaths of American servicemen under his watch - including some who attended previous commencement ceremonies he had given at West Point.

Obama also made an implicit defense of his decision to call off military strikes on Syria at the last minute last year to punish chemical weapons strikes.

Critics at home and abroad warned that the decision left dangerous questions about whether Washington would stand up to "red lines" elsewhere in the world.

"I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm's way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak," he told the graduates.

Yu Wanli, a professor of international relations at Peking University, said the US military still enjoys supremacy globally, and Washington's military spending accounts for nearly half the world's total.

"As early as in 2008, Obama said during his campaign that he opposed a foreign policy that is dependant on military intervention," Yu said. "The view has been carried on till today. It was reflected in Obama's dealing with the crises in Syria and Ukraine."

In his speech, Obama also said that terrorism remained the biggest national security threat to the US and unveiled a new $5 billion fund to equip and train allies on the front lines of the struggle against terrorism, for instance in Africa.

He also defended his decision to leave nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan for a year after combat troops leave at the end of this year, and to gradually reduce the presence to a detachment of troops at the US Embassy in Kabul by the end of 2016, just before he leaves office. 


Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon: A Bulldozer in War and Peace

Sharon was always consistent in his desire to secure Israel’s borders and was often photographed with a map in hand....

Israel’s indomitable lion Ariel Sharon, a bulldozer in war and peace, died on Saturday, eight years after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage that left him in a coma from which he never awoke.

Perhaps the most revered and often reviled of the country’s politicians, perceived alternately as a peacemaker and a warmonger, for decades his actions as a military commander and statesman shaped both Israel’s self-perception and the world’s image of the Jewish nation.

From the time he fought in Latrun as a young soldier to save Jerusalem in 1948 to his orchestration as prime minister of the Gaza pullout in August 2005, Sharon was at the center of the modern nation’s historical moments. And like the country he served for most of his 85 years, his life was marked by controversy, deep loss, harsh defeat and miraculous victory.

Sharon was always consistent in his desire to secure Israel’s borders and was often photographed with a map in hand. During his tenure as the 11th prime minister he was determined to redraw those borders based on his vision of the new strategic and demographic concerns of the 21st century. In this pursuit he was not afraid to tear down his own physical, ideological and political works. His health failed him before the task was finished.

Strikingly, throughout his life, either or by chance or design, much of what Sharon built or cherished was lost, destroyed or tarnished. His ability to sustain loss made him fearless in his public pursuits.

Sharon the soldier had seen his friends die in battle by age 20. The family man buried one son and two wives. The gallant military leader with a white bandage across his wounded forehead played an instrumental role in capturing the Sinai desert, only to return it to Egypt years later as a politician. The spiritual father of the settlement movement, Sharon claimed to know the driver of every crane building homes in the territories. But then, as defense minister, he was charged with the razing of the Yamit settlement in Sinai in 1982 and, as prime minister, he ordered the destruction of the Gaza settlements in 2005.

The leader of the Likud Party he had founded in 1973, Sharon catapulted it in 2003 from 19 to 40 Knesset mandates. But then, in November 2005, he crippled it by bolting to form the centrist Kadima Party, taking a host of prominent politicians from across the spectrum with him.

And as the avuncular elder statesman widely, though by no means universally, perceived to know better than his rivals how to steer Israel forward, he was well on his way to a third term in office when his stroke on January 4, 2006, halted his plans to shepherd the nation into a new dawn.

With his white hair, heavyset build, grandfatherly smile and the reading glasses that occasionally slipped down his nose, his image in his later years as well his conciliatory words belied his reputation as an authoritarian political leader and a brutal military commander.

For all the Israelis he alienated throughout his larger-than-life career, however, he was a man generally well-liked on the most personal levels – friendly, courteous and solicitous.

Sharon never left the spotlight for long after he came to national prominence as the dashing war hero of the 1950s. He was lauded as a master military strategist in the Sixties and Seventies. In the early Eighties as defense minister, he was blamed for the failures and excesses of the Lebanon War as well as the massacre of more than 700 Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camp at the hands of Christian Phalangists. As opposition leader in September 2000, his visit to the Temple Mount was used by the Palestinians as a pretext for the second intifada, and he was often a scapegoat for the continued conflict. Five years later, when he was felled by illness, his sudden forced departure from the political stage was perceived as a crisis for peace.

The sabra son of an immigrant Russian farmer who preferred his own counsel to the communal decisions of his neighbors, as prime minister Sharon turned his own similar preference for solo leadership into a diplomatic platform of unilateral disengagement from the Palestinians. It was a move that broke a deadlocked period in the conflict. But Sharon’s seemingly swift turnabout from right-wing leader who coined the famous phrase “the fate of Netzarim was the fate of Tel Aviv” to one who evacuated the Gaza settlement of Netzarim, left his dizzied supporters gasping at the betrayal.

  • Sharon liked to describe himself first and foremost as a Jew and then as a farmer. In addressing the United Nations General Assembly in September 2005 at the pinnacle of his popularity, he said, “My first love was and remains manual labor: sowing and harvesting, the pasture, the flock and the cattle.”

Circumstances intervened, he said, and instead his life’s path led him “to be a fighter and commander in all Israel’s wars.”

Now, he told world leaders, he had a different purpose. He was reaching out to the Palestinians in “reconciliation and compromise to end the bloody conflict and embark on the path which leads to peace. I view this as my calling and my primary mission for the coming years.”

Hard-line right-wingers who had long believed the prime minister was one of their staunchest advocates felt abandoned by his sudden shift to the Center. His opponents argued that Sharon was simply an opportunist, willing to pay any price and betray any ideal in the pursuit of power. Some said his political shift was designed to deflect corruption allegations, others that he had gone soft.

But Sharon himself had long said that he was not married to one specific path or ideology. “There is no advantage to the person who steadfastly maintains the same position over the years just for the sake of consistency," he said, as early as 1977.

In his autobiography, Warrior, he referred to himself as a “pragmatic Zionist,” a man of action rather than words. When he believed Jewish settlements created security, he constructed them. Persuaded that a security barrier was needed, he built that too.

Zalman Shoval, a former ambassador to the US and a long-time adviser, said Sharon was foremost “a pragmatist.” He belonged to a small group of similar-minded soldiers-turned-statesmen such as Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin whose primary consideration was security, rather than ideology, said Shoval. “So you never knew how they would act under certain circumstances.”

Proactive, rather than reactive, in this single-minded pursuit of his goals, Sharon pushed forward with a confident winner-take-all attitude.

Back in 1974, The Jerusalem Post predicted that this style of charging into battle would take him far. “Arik Sharon only knows frontal attacks. That is how he fought the Arabs, that is

how he captured the Likud and that is how he intends to storm and capture the State of Israel,” the Post said.

It was not by chance that in the 1970s, solders in his unit were already chanting, “Arik, king of Israel.”

His longtime friend, journalist Uri Dan, said Sharon loved challenges: “When he was told a mission was impossible, that is what he wanted to do.”

Like his biblical hero, Joshua, who blew down the walls of Jericho with a ram’s horn, Sharon bulldozed his way past all military and political obstacles. In the army, he dodged charges that he failed to follow orders and really accurate information to his superiors. In politics he brushed off his image as a has-been politician who attacked both friend and foe. Teflon-style. he survived unscathed allegations of financial corruption.

Former Likud MK Bennie Begin once said acerbically of Sharon that he was as likely to head their party as he was to become a tennis champion. But at the nadir of Sharon’s checkered army career, after he was forced to resign as defense minister in 1983 following Sabra and Shatilla, Dan made a different prediction.

“Those who rejected [Sharon as chief of staff got him in due time as defense minister,” said Dan. “And those who rejected him as defense minister will get him in due course as prime minister.”

Sharon said that his steadfast determination was rooted in his childhood work on a farm.

In an op-ed article for the Post in 1999 Sharon recalled a day he spent with his father at Kfar Malal. “I was working out in the field with my father on an intensely hot day as thirst plagued us and thousands of flies and gnats buzzed around us, getting into our eyes and noses. We, hoes in hand, continued to work. When my father Shmuel, of blessed memory, who was an agronomist, agricultural scientist and also an outstanding farmer, saw I was getting tired, he would stop a minute, point towards the ground we’d covered and say, “Look how much we’ve already done. And with renewed strength, we would continue work.”

It was this mind-set, wrote Sharon, that came to characterize his own indomitable approach - to daily life and to leading Israel.

“This has always been my way: to appreciate what we have already accomplished and to look forward optimistically.”  


Δευτέρα, Νοεμβρίου 18, 2013

Netanyahu calls on Abbas to address Israeli parliament.

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday invited Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to address the Israeli parliament and publicly recognise Jewish links to the land of Israel.

"I call on him from here today: let's break the deadlock," Netanyahu said in a special address to the parliament, or Knesset, in honour of a visit by French President Francois Hollande.

"Come to the Israeli Knesset and I'll come to Ramallah," he said, referring to Abbas's West Bank headquarters.

"Get up on this platform and recognise the historical truth: the Jews have a nearly 4,000-year-old link to the land of Israel. The Jews are a people with a right to self-determination," he said.

"In real peace, all Palestinian claims regarding the State of Israel will end, including national claims on its territory and sovereignty."

Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 05, 2013

Qatar slams 'unconditional' proposed Syria talks.

AFP - Qatar's emir criticised Tuesday what he claimed were unconditional terms for a proposed peace conference on Syria, saying the talks would lead nowhere and should focus on "achieving justice" for Syria's people.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, whose country has been a main backer of the Syrian rebellion, criticised "attempts by some to substitute achieving justice for the (Syrian) people, who have paid the heaviest price... with unconditional negotiations that lack a timeframe and lead nowhere."

His remarks come as Washington, Moscow and the United Nations are trying to fix a date for the so-called Geneva II talks bringing all sides together to discuss a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

More than 120,000 people have been killed since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime erupted in March 2011.
Syria's opposition has refused to attend unless Assad's resignation is on the table. and some rebel groups have warned that participants would be considered traitors.

For his part, Assad has said he would not negotiate with any group tied to the rebels or to foreign states.
Speaking at the opening of a new term of the Shura (consultative) Council in Doha, Sheikh Tamim said talks must "reach a political solution that recognises the Syrian people's legitimate demands and is based on a timetable."

On Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal also said that negotiations "shouldn't just go on indefinitely," in reference to the proposed peace conference.
Saudi Arabia, along with Turkey, are also main backers of the Syrian opposition.
But Doha appears to have taken a back seat since the former emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, abdicated in favour of his son in June.

Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 30, 2013

UN chief Ban slams Israeli plans to advance east J'lem, West Bank construction....

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday blasted an Israeli announcement made earlier in the day to advance settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Ban condemned as "contrary to international law" the move announced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in conjunction with Israel's release early Wednesday morning of 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners.

He added that further Israeli building in areas over the Green Line constituted "an obstacle to peace".

However, Ban stated his appreciation for Israel's undertaking the "difficult step" of releasing the second batch of pre-Oslo prisoners amid "deep domestic opposition" as a gesture for continuing peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

He added that the UN expected parties to promote conditions conducive to a successful negotiation process and refrain from actions that undermine trust. 

****UN chief deplores plans for further Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. -(Announcement hours after freeing 26 Palestinian prisoners) 

 30 October 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has deplored the announcements today of further Israeli settlement plans in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, pointing out that settlement activity is contrary to international law and constitutes an obstacle to peace.
“Any measures that prejudge final status issues will not be recognised by the international community,” a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson added.Israel reportedly made the announcement hours after freeing 26 Palestinian prisoners.

Mr. Ban understands that Israel took “a difficult step” in continuing to release Palestinian prisoners in the face of deep domestic opposition, and appreciates this gesture, said the statement. “The Secretary-General expects the parties to take every possible step to promote conditions conducive to the success of the negotiating process and to refrain from actions that undermine trust,” it added.
Direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians stalled in September 2010, after Israel refused to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory. The two sides resumed negotiations this August following efforts by United States Secretary of State John Kerry. 

un.org,  30/10/13


Σάββατο, Οκτωβρίου 12, 2013

Thousands rally in Israel to remember slain PM Rabin.

AFP - Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday to mourn peace-seeking prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on the 18th anniversary of his assassination by a Jewish extremist.

The demonstrators were mainly young people representing a wide political spectrum but protesting against Israeli radicals opposed to peace with the Palestinians, an AFP reporter said.
The demonstrators carried portraits of Rabin -- who was assassinated after addressing a rally in the same square on November 4, 1995 -- and banners with slogans against racism and intolerance.

"Stop the price tag, defend democracy," read one banner, referring to so-called "price tag" attacks on Palestinians by Jewish extremists opposed to the dismantling of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

"My grandfather was assassinated for peace, and you owe this peace to us, to all of us," Rabin's grandson Yonatan Ben-Artzi said in a speech to the crowd, addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Media said 30,000 people joined the rally in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, where the premier was gunned down by Jewish extremist Yigal Amir, who is currently serving a life sentence.
  • Amir had hoped to derail the 1993 Oslo accords signed by Rabin and the Palestinians, a landmark agreement aimed at resolving the decades-old conflict.

Organisers of Saturday's rally had planned it to roughly coincide with the anniversary of the assassination in the Jewish Calendar, which falls next week.
An official ceremony will be held on Tuesday at the Jerusalem cemetery where Rabin is buried.

Κυριακή, Σεπτεμβρίου 08, 2013

Pope, in Syria peace appeal, calls for end to spiral of death/Αγρυπνία στο Βατικανό κατά του πολέμου στη Συρία.-«Ο πόλεμος είναι πάντα μια ήττα της ανθρωπότητας»

Έκκληση προς όλες τις πλευρές να «εργαστούν υπέρ της ειρήνης και της συμφιλίωσης» και να θέσουν τέρμα στον πόλεμο, «ο οποίος πάντα είναι μια ήττα της ανθρωπότητας», απηύθυνσε ο Πάπας Φραγκίσκος, κατά την αγρυπνία στην οποία τελείται προσευχή για τη Συρία.
Μιλώντας ενώπιον των 70.000 πιστών που είχαν συγκεντρωθεί από όλο τον κόσμο στην πλατεία του Αγίου Πέτρου ο Ποντίφικας ζήτησε να «ακολουθηθεί άλλος δρόμος, διαφορετικός από αυτόν του πολέμου».

«Μέσα στο πολυαγαπημένο συριακό κράτος, στη Μέση Ανατολή, παντού στον κόσμο, ας προσευχηθούμε για την συμφιλίωση, για την ειρήνη, ας εργαστούμε για την συμφιλίωση, για την ειρήνη» συνέχισε στο κήρυγμά του ο Πάπας.

«Η βία και ο πόλεμος έχουν τον κώδικα του θανάτου. Αναρωτιέμαι: Μπορούμε να διασχίσουμε άλλον δρόμο; μπορούμε να μάθουμε εκ νέου να περπατάμε και να διασχίζουμε τους δρόμους της ειρήνης; Απόψε θα ήθελα από όλες τις γωνιές του πλανήτη να φωνάζαμε: Ναι, είναι δυνατό σε όλους! ή καλύτερα θα ήθελα ο καθένας από εσάς, από τον μικρότερο έως τον μεγαλύτερο, έως όσους καλούνται να κυβερνούν τις χώρες, να πει: ναι, το θέλουμε», δήλωσε ο Πάπας σε μια έκκλησή του προς τους ηγέτες των χωρών που επιδιώκουν να επιλεγεί μια στρατιωτική λύση στη συριακή σύγκρουση, υποδηλώνοντας τις ΗΠΑ και την Γαλλία παρότι δεν τις κατονόμασε.

  • Pope, in Syria peace appeal, calls for end to spiral of death

(Reuters) - A sombre-looking Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal to avert a widening of Syria's conflict on Saturday, urging world leaders to pull humanity out of a "spiral of sorrow and death".

Francis, who two days ago branded a military solution in Syria "a futile pursuit", led the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in a global day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world.

"Violence and war lead only to death, they speak of death! Violence and war are the language of death!" Francis said at the midpoint of a five-hour prayer service before tens of thousands of people in St Peter's Square.

The United States and France are considering military action against Damascus to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a chemical weapons attack on August 21 that killed hundreds of people. Assad's government denies it was responsible.

The service was punctuated by music, prayer, the reciting of the rosary and long periods of silence in which the participants were asked to meditate on the need for peace to vanquish the destruction of war.

"We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves. As if it were normal, we continue to sow destruction, pain, death!" said Francis, who wore his simple white cassock instead of ceremonial robes to the service.

"At this point I ask myself: Is it possible to change direction? Can we get out of this spiral of sorrow and death? Can we learn once again to walk and live in the ways of peace?"

He then asked "each one of us, from the least to the greatest, including those called to govern nations, to respond: Yes, we want it!"

When he announced the prayer vigil last Sunday, Francis asked Catholics around the world to pray and fast and invited members of other religious to take part in any way they saw fit in the hope that a wider war could be averted.

"That's very scary, very scary," said Lennie Tallud, a clinical lab scientist visiting St Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Asked whether she thought prayers would make a difference, she said: "Definitely, for sure. No doubt. I think it would - 100 percent."

MUSLIMS PRAY WITH POPE.....http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/07/us-syria-crisis-pope-idUSBRE9860G120130907?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews


  • Francisco: "La guerra no es el camino para la paz"

El Papa Francisco encabezó hoy a la tarde una ceremonia en la plaza de San Pedro del Vaticano para pedir por la paz en Siria y hacer un examen de conciencia mundial sobre el compromiso para evitar la guerra. Dijo que la "violencia sólo conlleva muerte" y que "la guerra no es el camino para la paz". También pidió trabajar "por la reconciliación y por la paz".

"¿Acaso no queremos un mundo de armonía", se preguntó Francisco. "¿Es posible recorrer el camino de la paz? Sí, es posible para todos", destacó. El papa llegó a pie al exterior de la Basílica de San Pedro acompañado por el cardenal Angelo Comastri, arcipreste de San Pedro y vicario de la Ciudad del Vaticano. En la plaza de San Pedro se encuentraban miles de fieles, en su mayoría romanos y otros italianos llegados de diversos puntos del país a bordo de autobuses.

También había una delegación islámica de la comunidad del Mundo µrabe en Italia, con su presidente Foad Aodi al frente, quien dijo a los periodistas que para ellos el papa Francisco "es un ídolo, serviría un guía así para el mundo islámico".
Diputados, senadores, políticos, miembros del cuerpo diplomático acreditado ante la Santa Sede y representantes de diversas instituciones italianas también participaron de la iniciativa.

Francisco realizó la convocatoria para este acto el 1° de septiembre durante el tradicional rezo del µngelus, en el que hizo un llamamiento a que "no haya más guerras" y expresó su preocupación por el "dramático desarrollo que se presenta en Siria".

  • Flammender Appell des Papsts gegen Krieg in Syrien

Friedensinitiative des Papstes vor allem für Syrien und den Nahen Osten: Mit einem flammenden Appell vor Zehntausenden Gläubigen hat Franziskus am Samstagabend in Rom ein Ende der Gewalt und des Kriegsgetöses verlangt. Er hatte die Katholiken zu einer zentralen Gebetswache für den Frieden weltweit auf dem Petersplatz aufgerufen. "Möge das Waffenrasseln aufhören! Krieg bedeutet immer das Scheitern des Friedens, er ist immer eine Niederlage für die Menschheit", sagte er bewegt der Menschenmenge auf dem Platz.

Franziskus rief die Christen, die anderen Religionen und alle Menschen guten Willens nachdrücklich auf: "Gewalt und Krieg sind niemals der Weg des Friedens. Vergebung, Dialog, Versöhnung sind die Worte des Friedens – in der geliebten syrischen Nation, im Vorderen Orient, in der ganzen Welt." Er forderte auf der Gebetswache dazu auf, für Frieden zu beten, und kritisierte: "Wir haben unsere Waffen vervollkommnet, unser Gewissen ist eingeschlafen, und wir haben ausgeklügeltere Begründungen gefunden, um uns zu rechtfertigen."

Die "Spirale des Schmerzes und des Todes" müsse ein Ende haben, betonte das Oberhaupt der römisch-katholischen Kirche. Es sei auch heute möglich, einen anderen Weg als Gewalt und Krieg zu wählen. "Heute Abend möchte ich, dass wir von allen Enden der Erde aus rufen: Ja, es ist möglich für alle!", so Franziskus. Er bitte die Gottesmutter Maria darum, dass jeder Mensch, vom normalen Bürger bis zum Staatslenker, antworte: "Ja, wir wollen es".

Friedensaufruf "Nie wieder Krieg"

Bereits in den vergangenen Wochen hatte Franziskus sich immer wieder für Dialog und Versöhnung in dem Bürgerkriegsland Syrien stark gemacht und einen Militärschlag gegen Damaskus strikt abgelehnt. Wesentlich ist dabei sein Friedensaufruf "Nie wieder Krieg" vom 1. September: "Wir wollen, dass in unserer von Spaltungen und Konflikten zerrissenen Gesellschaft der Frieden ausbricht."

Zudem hatte Franziskus in einem Brief an den russischen Präsidenten und Vorsitzenden des G-20-Gipfels, Wladimir Putin, dafür geworben, den Bemühungen um Frieden für Syrien eine Chance zu geben.

Der päpstliche Aufruf zum Gebetstag hatte ein starkes Echo ausgelöst, und auch aus den nichtchristlichen Religionen kam dafür viel Zustimmung. Muslime und Juden beteiligten sich an dem Gebet für den Frieden. Der Vatikan wertete die Initiative des Papstes als das "Herzstück" seines Einsatzes gegen Gewalt und Krieg, so wie Johannes Paul II. einst gegen den Golfkrieg mobil zu machen versucht hatte.

Auch in Berlin folgten viele dem Aufruf Franziskus' zum Gebet. Mehr als 800 Menschen kamen mit dem Berliner Erzbischof, Kardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, in der Kreuzberger Sankt-Bonifatius-Kirche zusammen. Im Schein unzähliger Kerzen betonte Woelki, das Gebet könne dazu beitragen, "dass der Friede Denken und Handeln bestimmt".

  • SYRIE. La guerre, "défaite pour l'humanité", selon le pape.

Le pape François a lancé samedi 7 septembre un vibrant appel à "travailler pour la paix et la réconciliation" et à mettre fin à la guerre "toujours une défaite de l'humanité", lors d'une veillée de prière pour la Syrie, relayée dans le monde entier.

"La guerre est toujours un échec de l'humanité", a dit le pape devant 70.000 personnes du monde entier sur la place Saint-Pierre, exhortant à "parcourir une autre voie" que la guerre. "Je voudrais que de toutes les parties de la terre, nous criions : oui c'est possible à tous!", a-t-il lancé, très vivement applaudi. "Dans la bien-aimée nation syrienne, au Moyen-Orient, partout dans le monde, prions pour la réconciliation et pour la paix, travaillons pour la réconciliation et pour la paix", a déclaré le souverain pontife.

Le pape est arrivé samedi 7 septembre au soir sur la place Saint-Pierre pour présider la grande journée de prière pour la paix en Syrie et dans le monde, en présence de dignitaires des autres confessions chrétiennes et de responsables de l'islam. Le pape a mobilisé samedi les catholiques du monde entier pour une journée de jeûne et de prière contre toute solution militaire en Syrie, en élargissant son appel à toutes les confessions et aux non-croyants. "Que s'élève fortement sur toute la Terre le cri de la paix!": le pape argentin avait exhorté ainsi le milliard de catholiques, les autres chrétiens, les fidèles de toutes les autres religions et les athées à s'associer à ce geste fort.

De Bagdad à Jérusalem, de Bombay à Buenos Aires, de Washington à Paris, de l'Afrique à l'Asie, tout ce que l'Eglise compte de responsables ont relayé le message énergique de François, dans des sermons, des messages téléphoniques et sur les réseaux sociaux.

L'initiative a reçu le soutien des patriarches du Moyen-Orient, unis par leur inquiétude d'une extension de la guerre en Syrie et d'une poussée islamiste. Le pape s'oppose à toute idée de frappes, envisagées par la France et les Etats-Unis, estimant qu'elles aggraveront les massacres et ne pourront être limitées. François a adressé une lettre aux responsables du G20 qui étaient réunis cette semaine à Saint-Pétersbourg, leur demandant "du fond du coeur" de renoncer à toute option militaire en Syrie.

En France, seul pays à soutenir les Etats-Unis dans leur projet de frappes contre le régime de Bachar Al-Assad, tous les diocèses ont relayé son appel. Des prières solennelles étaient prévues en particulier à Lourdes et dans la basilique du Sacré Coeur à Montmartre, à partir de 17 heures GMT, au moment de la veillée présidée pendant quatre heures par le pape Place Saint-Pierre à Rome.

Au Liban, pays comptant une importante communauté chrétienne, le patriarche maronite Bechara Boutros Raï conduira une prière dans la basilique Notre Dame du Liban à Harissa, au nord de Beyrouth. Le vice-président du Haut conseil chiite cheikh Abdel Amir Qabalan a adhéré à cette

En Jordanie, la "principale célébration aura lieu dans l'Eglise 'Sayidat Al Salaam' (Madonne de la Paix) à Amman en présence de l'évêque Maroun Lahham, le nonce en Jordanie et des milliers d'autres personnes", a indiqué Rifat Bader, directeur du Centre catholique d'études et sur les médias. En Syrie, le chef de l'islam sunnite, le grand mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, a aussi demandé aux fidèles de s'associer à la prière du pape.

François a adressé une lettre aux responsables du G20 qui étaient réunis cette semaine à Saint Pétersbourg, leur demandant "du fond du coeur" de renoncer à toute option militaire en Syrie. Cette journée s'inscrit dans la lignée des mobilisations de l'Eglise catholique sous l'impulsion de Jean Paul II lors des guerres dans les Balkans et contre l'intervention américaine en Irak en 2003. Le prédécesseur de François, Joseph Ratzinger, a lui aussi adhéré à l'initiative, selon son secrétaire Mgr Georg Gaenswein.

Le cardinal brésilien Joao Braz de Aviz qui supervise les ordres religieux des cinq continents, les a exhortés à répondre massivement à l'appel. Le président italien du Conseil pontifical de la famille, Mgr Vincenzo Paglia, a recommandé de "ne pas oublier d'inviter les grands-parents". "Si l'un d'entre eux a fait l'expérience de la guerre, qu'il raconte ce que signifie vivre sous les bombes, et ce que ça voulait dire prier à ce moment-là", a-t-il recommandé.

"Priez pour la paix", a brièvement tweeté le pape peu avant la veillée de samedi.


Πέμπτη, Ιουλίου 18, 2013

Kerry offers halt to east Jerusalem settlement construction to resume peace talks - Israel open to 1967 border formula for Palestine talks

US Secretary of State met Palestinian leader Abbas reportedly proposing suspension of Jewish settlement construction in West Bank and East Jerusalem for 3 months to resume negotiations with Israel.


America's top diplomat John F. Kerry offered a three-month halt to the Jewish settlement construction in Eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank in a meeting in Jordan on Wednesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in order to resumePalestinian-Israeli peace negotiations and lasting solution, al-Fatah sources said.

Kerry reportedly pledged Abbas US guarantee for the implementation of the proposal, sources added.

Abbas was expected to meet with his top aides on Thursday to assess the US proposal.

The US state secretary also met with representatives of the Arab League on Wednesday in Amman on his sixth trip to the Middle East since he was sworn in as top US diplomat last February.

The Palestinian leader has rejected negotiations unless all West Bank settlement construction stopped, a demand which Israel has refused, defying any conditions for negotiations to resume.

  •  Άρση περιορισμών στην κυκλοφορία των Παλαιστινίων στη Δ.Όχθη...Άρση μερικών περιορισμών στην κυκλοφορία των Παλαιστινίων αποφασίζει ο ισραηλινός στρατός, Ο Κέρι παρατείνει το ταξίδι του....

Ο ισραηλινός στρατός θα προχωρήσει στην άρση μερικών περιορισμών που εφαρμόζει για την κυκλοφορία των Παλαιστινίων στη Δυτική Όχθη, προκειμένου να ενθαρρύνει την επανάληψη των ειρηνευτικών διαπραγματεύσεων, μετέδωσε σήμερα το ραδιόφωνο του ισραηλινού στρατού.

"Ύστερα από μια αποτίμηση της κατάστασης ασφαλείας, δύο λεωφόροι στα Εδάφη αναμένεται να ανοίξουν σύντομα για την κυκλοφορία των Παλαιστινίων, μια βορείως της Ραμάλας και μια κοντά στο Μπέιτ Χαγκάι», έναν εβραϊκό οικισμό κοντά στη Χεβρώνα, στη νότια Δυτική Όχθη, σύμφωνα με το ραδιόφωνο του στρατού.

"Στο πλαίσιο της έναρξης των διαπραγματεύσεων μπορεί να υπάρξουν μέτρα αποκατάστασης της εμπιστοσύνης», δήλωσε στο ισραηλινό ραδιόφωνο ο υπουργός περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης Σιλβάν Σαλόμ. Ωστόσο το γραφείο του εκπροσώπου του στρατού διευκρίνισε ότι πρόκειται για μια χειρονομία καλής θέλησης προς τους μουσουλμάνους με την ευκαιρία του Ραμαζανιού και όχι ένα μέτρο για να ευνοηθεί η ειρηνευτική διαδικασία.

Παράλληλα, ο Παλαιστίνιος πρόεδρος Μαχμούντ Αμπάς θα μετάσχει αργότερα σήμερα σε συνεδρίαση του κινήματός του, της Φάταχ και μετά θα συναντηθεί με την παλαιστινιακή διοίκηση, για να εξετάσει τις τελευταίες προτάσεις του Αμερικανού υπουργού Εξωτερικών Τζον Κέρι για την επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων, ανακοίνωσαν επίσημες παλαιστινιακές πηγές.

Ο Κέρι που βρίσκεται στο Αμάν της Ιορδανίας, αναμένει το αποτέλεσμα της συνεδρίασης αυτής για να αποφασίσει για τη συνέχιση του ταξιδιού του......http://www.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_kathremote_1_18/07/2013_510064
  • Οι Παλαιστίνιοι ψηφίζουν για την επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων με το Ισραήλ...

Τα παλαιστινιακά όργανα ψηφίζουν επί της πρότασης του αμερικανού υπουργού Εξωτερικών Τζον Κέρι που προβλέπει επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων με το Ισραήλ χωρίς την πλήρη διακοπή της εποικιστικής δραστηριότητας την οποία θέτουν ως προϋπόθεση, δήλωσε παλαιστίνιος αξιωματούχος.

«Η πιο σημαντική πρόταση του σχεδίου του Κέρι είναι μια επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων χωρίς διακοπή ή πάγωμα της εποικιστικής δραστηριότητας», διευκρίνισε ο αξιωματούχος της Οργάνωσης για την Απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης που ζήτησε να μην κατονομαστεί.

«Το σχέδιο προβλέπει την επανάληψη των διαπραγματεύσεων, σύμφωνα με την ομιλία του προέδρου Μπαράκ Ομπάμα που ζήτησε το 2011 τη δημιουργία ενός παλαιστινιακού κράτους στη βάση των συνόρων που ίσχυαν πριν από την ισραηλινή κατοχή του 1967», πρόσθεσε. Το κίνημα Φάταχ του προέδρου Μαχμούντ Αμπάς και η εκτελεστική επιτροπή της ΟΑΠ αναμένεται να ψηφίσουν το απόγευμα επί του θέματος αυτού.

«Το σχέδιο περιλαμβάνει το δικαίωμα για κάθε πλευρά να διατηρεί επιφυλάξεις επί ορισμένων θεμάτων στα οποία υπάρχουν αποκλίσεις, (ο ισραηλινός πρωθυπουργός Μπενιαμίν) Νετανιάχου θα αντιταχθεί σε ένα κράτος εντός των συνόρων του 1967, και οι Παλαιστίνιοι σε ένα εβραϊκό κράτος" την αναγνώριση του οποίου ζητεί ο Νετανιάχου», υπογράμμισε ο αξιωματούχος......http://www.protothema.gr/world/article/295784/oi-palaistinioi-psifizoun-gia-tin-epanalipsi-ton-diapragmateuseon-me-to-israil-/
  • Palestinians demand Kerry plan changes...

RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories): The Palestinians demanded on Thursday that changes be made to US secretary of state John Kerry's Middle East peace plan, following a meeting in Ramallah, an official said.

"Fatah wants to make some alterations to Kerry's plan ... because the proposed ideas are not encouraging for a return to negotiations," a top official of the party of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said.

"The central committee is demanding, for a return to talks ... that Kerry announce they should be based on the 1967 lines," said Amin Maqbul, secretary general of the ruling Fatah movement's Revolutionary Council.

The vote came after two rounds of intensive talks between Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday and Wednesday, who is also Fatah leader, in which they thrashed out the plan.

It was the top US diplomat's sixth visit to the region in as many months to try to broker a compromise formula to allow a resumption of direct peace talks after a three-year hiatus. ....http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Palestinians-demand-Kerry-plan-changes/articleshow/21145558.cms

  • Israel open to 1967 border formula for Palestine talks 

Israel has agreed to a proposed formula for new peace talks with the Palestinians under which the border of their future state would be along lines that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, but with agreed land swaps, an Israeli official said on Thursday.

The official said that, were the Palestinians to accept the formula, it would be announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who would also describe the future Palestine as existing alongside a “Jewish state” of Israel. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment.

Speculation has been rife that Kerry, now in the region for his sixth time since March in an effort to revive peace talks that deadlocked in 2010, may be close to a breakthrough.

Israel has previously balked at agreeing to the 1967 borders as a basis for talks with Palestinians. But the latest proposal addresses a longstanding central demand made by Netanyahu that the Palestinians explicitly recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was conferring with Palestinian leaders on Thursday to decide whether to accept Kerry’s proposals for renewing talks with Israel.

Kerry said on Wednesday after talks with Abbas in neighboring Jordan that gaps between the sides had “very significantly” narrowed. An Arab League committee endorsed Kerry’s proposals for resuming peace talks, saying they “provide the ground and a suitable environment to start negotiations.” 

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...