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EU, US discuss options for renewing Mideast talks

The European Union and the United States are elaborating three options to revive the peace process: renewing talks on the basis of latest understandings, an international conference or a unilateral American statement on a framework agreement.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (3rd L) stands with (L-R) Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini after their meeting regarding a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, at the foreign ministry in Paris, July 26, 2014. The foreign ministers on Saturday called for an extension of th

The danger of a religious war over Jerusalem sounded alarm bells across many capitals in the region and around the world. "We shall not let the [Naftali] Bennetts and the [Ismail] Haniyehs drag us into a regional explosion," a senior State Department official told Al-Monitor, following the meetings convened by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman on Nov. 13 with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II.

The Amman summit produced only a bandage for the bloodshed in Jerusalem. Netanyahu, according to the State Department source, went a long way to pacify the king of Jordan. It was clear in the meeting that the mere existence of the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty was at stake. Not only did the prime minister give guarantees to uphold the status quo on the Temple Mount, but both his interlocutors (Kerry and Abdullah) also understood that Israeli construction in East Jerusalem would be curbed. Netanyahu was apparently shocked by the demons he himself helped create. Abdullah called in the meeting for an urgent renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, yet Netanyahu could console himself by the fact that Kerry did not seem inclined to jump into such a waterless pool. Without a clear commitment to border demarcation on the basis of the 1967 lines, talks will not be renewed.

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