No sign of Middle East talks after Quartet meeting

Meeting on ways to avert diplomatic showdown at UN in September ends with no progress; senior US official: "We need to do more work, privately."

quartet dinner washington (photo credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
quartet dinner washington
(photo credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
WASHINGTON - The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators failed to announce any progress toward reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after a lengthy meeting on Monday, saying there are still gaps between the two sides.
The group, which includes the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States, ended a roughly two-hour and 15-minute dinner meeting in Washington without issuing a statement.

More than half way through his four-year term, President Barack Obama has failed to bring Israel and the Palestinians into sustained talks to end their conflict and appears all but certain to miss a September 2011 target for a framework deal.

In a May 19 speech, Obama laid down his clearest markers to date on the compromises he believes Israel and the Palestinians must make for peace and he argued that when talks resume they should focus first on the issues of territory and security.
The result of the speech, which the White House hoped might help lay the ground for a new push for peace, was more clarity on how the United States sees an ultimate peace deal but no real impetus for fresh negotiations that might deliver one.