MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) – Palestine’s ambassador to Russia proposed Monday to revise the format of negotiations with Israel by returning focus to the international “quartet” of intermediaries, as part of an effort to boost the involvement of Russia and the EU in the peace process.
“The settlement mechanism has proven ineffective and has to be revised. We need to include the ‘quartet’ of intermediaries, which has recently been overlooked, and take notice of Russian and European participation as members of the ‘quartet’,” Fayed Mustafa said at a press conference at RIA Novosti on Monday.
Talks on regulating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were on the verge of failure last week, when Israel refused to set free the last 26 of 104 Palestinian prisoners pardoned under an agreement last year to re-launch the peace process.
Citing the act as a breach of the agreement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas defiantly applied last week to 15 international treaties and conventions as an independent state.
Speaking on Sunday at a press conference in New York, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the Palestinian actions “political blackmail,” which have ruled out a return to the prior agreement.
“Israel is ready to resume talks … anytime and anywhere in the world, but the previous offer is outdated,” he said.
Ambassador Mustafa said the “parties need to draw relevant conclusions” from the talks with Israel, adding that US representatives helping to negotiate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have admitted behind closed doors that Israel has impeded the process.
According to experts, leftists politicians in Israel may be forced out of the ruling coalition in upcoming elections in light of the political impasse, as further concessions to Palestinians would deprive Benjamin Netanyahu of his influential right-wing support.