September 2, 2010 |
Israeli and Palestinian leaders formally reopened peace talks Thursday by setting a work plan for the next year, but adjourned without progress on their conflict over Israeli housing construction in disputed areas, an issue that threatens to quickly undermine the negotiations. Meeting at the State Department, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to meet again on Sept. 15 and to work out an outline as the first step to reaching a final peace deal by next September.
March 10, 2010 |
Vice President Joe Biden sought Wednesday to reassure Palestinians that the United States intends to push ahead with its Mideast peacemaking effort, despite a diplomatic blowup with Israel this week over its plans to build new housing in Jerusalem. After meetings with the Palestinian president and prime minister in the West Bank, Biden emphasized American determination to act as the intermediary in talks between Israelis and Palestinians, and declared that the Palestinians deserve a "viable" state.
February 19, 2010 |
Five years ago this month, Washington withdrew its ambassador to Damascus to protest the Assad regime's presumed role in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. For the State Department, which instinctively believes in the power of diplomacy, yanking its top diplomat was equivalent to the nuclear option. But after decades of Syrian targeting of Americans and Washington's regional allies, the Hariri slaying proved a bridge too far. On Tuesday, President Obama nominated Robert Stephen Ford to be the new ambassador to Syria.
November 17, 2009 |
A group of Israeli soldiers disobeyed orders to help dismantle several structures that Jewish settlers had built without government authorization in the occupied West Bank. A military spokeswoman said two of the soldiers were immediately sent to prison for 30 days and permanently dismissed from command or combat positions. Several others were still under investigation. The mutiny at an outpost near the West Bank city of Hebron followed a similar incident last month that raised concern about rebellion in the ranks of soldiers opposed on religious or political grounds to any settler evacuation in a future peace deal with Palestinians.
September 19, 2009 |
President Obama's Middle East envoy ended his most intensive round of shuttle diplomacy Friday without an agreement on one of the administration's top foreign policy goals, a revival of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The envoy, George J. Mitchell, has been trying for months to coax a package of concessions from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Arab states that would help Obama launch a regional peace initiative this fall. Mitchell left the region after six days of talks failed to bridge the gaps over several issues, including Jewish settlement expansion on land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state.
July 27, 2009 |
reporting from peshawar, pakistan Pakistani police on Sunday arrested Sufi Mohammed, the Taliban-aligned cleric responsible for brokering a controversial peace deal between Swat Valley militants and the government this year. That deal eventually broke down, leading to the ongoing military offensive against Taliban fighters.
April 27, 2009 |
Pakistan launched a military operation against militants Sunday in a district that has been covered under a controversial peace deal with the Taliban, suggesting a tougher line by the government -- at least temporarily. The military said at least 30 militants were killed, including a commander of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban, a Pakistani umbrella group of extremists, as armed helicopters attacked their positions in the Lower Dir district in northwestern Pakistan.
March 6, 2009 |
In an apparent expansion of Islamic fundamentalists' authority in the picturesque Swat Valley, local Pakistani officials have agreed to close shops at prayer times and crack down on prostitution and drug dealing as part of a proposed peace deal, according to local media reports Thursday. The steps were among 17 points agreed to at a Wednesday meeting involving provincial government officials and supporters of a pro-Taliban cleric mediating the negotiations.
November 10, 2008 |
As Condoleezza Rice completes what likely will be her final swing through the Middle East as America's top diplomat, she leaves behind an unfinished peace process and a lingering debate about whether the Bush administration brought the region any closer to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord. The secretary of State's regional tour, her 19th in two years, included a stop Sunday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheik for an update on the direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations launched under U.
November 7, 2008 |
The Bush administration conceded that a deal between Israelis and Palestinians is not possible by the end of its term. U.S. officials had insisted for months that a peace accord could be sealed by the year-end deadline set by the two sides and President Bush last November in Annapolis, Md.