26 Sep 2010

US fails to break Mideast deadlock

10:38 am on 26 September 2010

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to break the deadlock in Arab-Israeli peace talks when she met in New York with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas but both plan to resume the effort.

The pair met after US officials bluntly told both the Israelis and Palestinians not to wreck the fledgling peace negotiations.

The talks are overshadowed by the end of an Israeli moratorium on settlement building, which is due to expire this weekend.

Israel indicated it was willing to cut a deal acceptable to the United States and the Palestinians.

But it also stressed that there cannot be zero construction in West Bank settlements.

President Abbas rejected any compromise that does not guarantee a complete halt to settlement activity.

The previous round of direct negotiations collapsed when Israel launched a military offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in December 2008.