'Jewish state' issue sank Quartet moves in the UN

By REUTERS
September 26, 2011 08:32

 
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WASHINGTON - The issue of whether and how to suggest that Israel should be a Jewish state ultimately sank diplomatic efforts to draft a substantive statement to revive peace talks, sources familiar with the matter said.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel and the Palestinians -- and their effective proxies in the negotiations, the United States and Russia -- remain too far apart on that issue and others.

The European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- known as the "Quartet" -- have tried for months to draft "terms of reference" that might breathe life into peace talks that collapsed nearly a year ago.

The Quartet hoped to draft a statement with "terms of reference" to head off UN push by Palestinian Authority President Abbas but when it became clear that was impossible, they chose to issue a statement on Friday designed to revive peace talks in spite of his request.

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