(JNS.org) The Obama administration has expressed skepticism over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
“We of course support meaningful negotiations and we continue to believe that this conflict can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties….We do not believe in negotiations just for the sake of negotiations,” a senior U.S. State Department official told the Jerusalem Post.
“As we’ve said many times, it is up to the parties to decide if they are ready to make the tough decisions necessary for successful negotiations,” the official added. “For our part, we continue to call on both sides to demonstrate with policies and actions a genuine commitment to a two-state solution.”
The Obama administration’s statement comes as France is organizing a meeting of world leaders in early June to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu has opposed the French approach, telling French Prime Minister Manuel Valls that he prefers direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
France plans to use the meeting to help plan a larger summit next fall on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to introduce a United Nations Security Council resolution on the issue.