[QODLink]
Middle East

Netanyahu on US visit to resist 'pressures'

Israel's prime minister pledges to resist pressures on Iran and peace with Palestinaians as he left for Washington.

Last updated: 02 Mar 2014 16:19
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Israel vows to resist 'pressures' on US visit [EPA]

Israel's prime minister has pledged to resist what he called pressures as he left for Washington on a visit expected to centre on peace talks with the Palestinians and the Iranian nuclear dispute.

"We will discuss the Iranian issue and the diplomatic process... In recent years the state of Israel has been under various pressures. We have rejected them...This is what has been and what will be,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office quoted him as saying as he boarded his plane on Sunday.

We will discuss the Iranian issue and the diplomatic process... In recent years the state of Israel has been under various pressures.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister

Although the Israeli premier would also like the talks with Obama on Monday to focus on Iran's nuclear ambitions, the White House appears to have a different agenda.

The New York Times, citing senior US officials, reported earlier this week that Obama will press Netanyahu on agreeing on a framework for a conclusive round of peace talks with the Palestinians that is being drafted by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, which began last July with the goal of reaching a deal within nine months, have made no visible progress.

However, Kerry is now focused on getting the two sides to agree on a framework proposal which would extend the deadline until the year's end.

Although the document has not yet been made public, it is understood to be a non-binding proposal laying out guidelines for negotiating the central issues of the conflict, such as borders, security, Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and the fate of Palestinian refugees, according to AFP news agency.

The proposal, or its outline, is likely to be presented to Netanyahu next week and to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on March 17 when he meets Obama at the White House.

Netanyahu to attend AIPAC meeting in Washington

The aim is reportedly to secure an agreement before the end of March, when Israel is due to release a fourth and final batch of 26 veteran Palestinian security prisoners in line with commitments to Washington.

Israeli daily Haaretz, citing Israeli officials who met counterparts in Washington on Friday, said they "sensed pessimism regarding the possibility of reaching a framework agreement by the end of March."

While Kerry faces an uphill battle to win over a Palestinian leadership which has steadfastly refused any extension, following months of relentless Israeli settlement expansion, pundits said the prime minister was likely to agree, albeit with reservations.

"What both Kerry and Obama are hoping to get is some kind of approval from Netanyahu for the document," Eytan Gilboa, an expert on US-Israeli relations at Bar Ilan University, told AFP, saying the Israeli leader was likely to accept the framework rather than risk being blamed for the collapse of the talks.

529

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.