The Middle East peace talks move to Jerusalem today, with Israeli and Palestinian leaders still claiming they can reach a deal in the next twelve months. They spent the first day at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt working on the agenda, which includes borders and security as part of a two-state solution.
“We have said many times that our vision is for a two-state solution that includes a Jewish democratic state of Israel living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent, souvereign and contiguous state of Palestine,” said President Obama’s Middle East envoy George Mitchell.
But there’s no sign of a compromise on one major point of contention – Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Israel’s partial freeze on building ends soon, and the Palestinians say they’ll walk away from the talks if construction resumes.
Euronews’ correspondent at the talks, Mohamed Elhamy, says Sharm el-Sheikh saw optimistic public statements, but also each side hardening its position. The prospects of a breakthrough are threatened by the approaching end of the settlement building moratorium.
To further complicate matters, pro-settler Jewish political parties say they are ready to bring down Benjamin Netanyahu’s government if they feel he’s giving too much away to the Palestinians.