WASHINGTON – The US is patiently waiting until an Israeli coalition is formed, but is nonetheless sending out a clear message to Israel: Do not neglect the Palestinian issue. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nulandstressed Friday that the US intended to work on bringing the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
“We are at the stage now… where we’re going to have to wait and see what the makeup of the Israeli government is going to be and how it approaches the longstanding critical issues that we share,” Nuland said. “We know where we want to go and we know where we believe they also want to go. If we can be helpful, we will continue to try.”
While hoping for a moderate Israeli government that will renew talks with the Palestinians, Washington stresses its support of Israel. Nuland stated that “Israel continues to be a democratic beacon out there in the world and to have a very vibrant system and process for ensuring that the people’s voices are heard in the political process.”
Nuland’s statement joins a Thursday statement by US Secretary of State nominee John Kerry, who also expressed hope that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks be renewed.
“My hope is that perhaps this can be a moment where we can renew some kind of effort to get the parties into a discussion to have a different track than we have been on over the last couple of years,” Kerry said.
Kerry insisted that President Barack Obamawas determined to resolve the conflict and grant Israel the security it deserves and the Palestinians the independence they deserve.
Robert Serry, US Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process stated last week, “We are entering a critical period ahead, in which concerted action will be vital if we are to salvage the two-State solution.”
“Israeli and Palestinian leaders have stated, like us, that they are convinced the two-State solution is the only path toward a durable peace. But they should realize that absent serious engagement, the peace process will remain on life-support and stability on the ground will be put at risk even further,” Serry said.
“The consequences for inaction could be dire for everyone,” he warned.
Jordan’s King Abdullahreflected US sentiments Friday, saying “If we’re not too late… the two-state solution will only last as long as Obama’s term; if it doesn’t happen by then I don’t think it will happen.”
Speaking in front of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Abdullah said that in order to achieve security in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must end and that regardless of Israel’s election results, peace and security must be a top priority for Israelis.
Abdullah’s speech was quoted in Jordan’s Petra news agency.