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'Quartet may support Palestinian state along 1967 borders'
By JPOST.COM STAFF
04/19/2011
As Netanyahu faces pressure to present new strategy to resume peace talks, 'LA Times' reports that diplomats warn that US, Russia, EU, UN may endorse Palestinian state along 1967 lines with e. J'lem as its capital.
 
The Middle East Quartet may try to reignite the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians by officially supporting, for the first time, the establishment of a Palestinian state along 1967 borders, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

According to the report, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been facing growing pressure to present a new strategy to resume peace talks and solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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US and European diplomats warned that if Netanyahu does not present a new initiative, the US, Russa, the European Union and the United Nations will potentially endorse the creation of a Palestinian state along 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as the capital.

Netanyahu acknowledged for the first time on Thursday that he will deliver a speech to a joint session of the US Congress at the end of May in which he will lay out the principles of his government’s diplomatic and security policies.

“Next month I will have the opportunity to present the principles of our diplomatic and security polices during my visit to the US,” Netanyahu said at a pre-Pessah Likud gathering in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu is scheduled to go to Washington on May 22, and is expected to address Congress two days later.

On Wednesday, major donor nations in Brussels agreed that the Palestinian Authority is ready for statehood but urged it to achieve this goal through a negotiated solution with Israel rather than unilateral action.

“The PA is above the threshold for a functioning state in key sectors” based on assessments by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee said in a statement it released after a meeting it held to assess the economic and institutional capacity of the PA.

The committee reaffirmed its “support for negotiations to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in full compliance with road map obligations.”

Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said US President Barack Obama will lay out US policy towards the Middle East and North Africa in the coming weeks.

"The president will be speaking in greater detail about America's policy in the Middle East and North Africa in the coming weeks," Clinton told Arab and US policy makers in her speech at the US-Islamic World Forum last week, a gathering sponsored by Qatar and the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

"America's core interests and values have not changed, including our commitment to promote human rights, resolve long-standing conflicts, counter Iran's threats and defeat al Qaida and its extremist allies," she added. "This includes renewed pursuit of comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace."

"The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months," she said, saying the only way to meet both people's aspirations was through a two-state solution.

"And while it is a truism that only the parties themselves can make the hard choices for peace, there is no substitute for continued, active American leadership -- and the president and I are committed to that," she added.

Tovah Lazaroff, Herb Keinon and Reuters contributed to this report.
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