Is the US leaving the Quartet on the Middle East?

Ned Price talks Israeli-Palestinian conflict and attempts at reaching a two-state solution during a press briefing.

 US State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks during daily press briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, US, February 22, 2021 (photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/POOL VIA REUTERS)
US State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks during daily press briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, US, February 22, 2021
(photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/POOL VIA REUTERS)

US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday during the department's daily press briefing that he is "not aware that we’ve made any formal decision regarding the Quartet or any formal statement regarding the Quartet."

He later clarified that Israeli-Palestinian issues are nevertheless central to the Biden administration, which has been, according to him, "doing what we can in the interim to help set the conditions: re-engaging with the Palestinian Authority, re-engaging with the Palestinian people, continuing to maintain our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security, continuing to advance and deepen our partnership with Israel, all in ways that over time we hope will help create the conditions for meaningful progress towards that ultimate end goal of a two-state solution."

Nevertheless, the Biden administration does not see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reaching some kind of understanding anytime soon. "We are not on the precipice of any meaningful engagement between Israelis and Palestinians towards that two-state solution."

"We are not on the precipice of any meaningful engagement between Israelis and Palestinians towards that two-state solution."

US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price

This came in response to a question by the press which claimed that Vladimir Safronkov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative for the Middle East, claimed that the US "is withdrawing itself from the work of the Quartet, the Middle East settlement."

Quartet on the Middle East

The Quartet on the Middle East is a grouping of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia meant to work together to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. It has been working to strengthen Palestinian groups, opening an office in east Jerusalem to help the Palestinian economy, all while attempting to reach a two-state solution. 

 US State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing on Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 16, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/POOL) US State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing on Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 16, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/POOL)

On the Israeli front, the Quartet has been relatively silent in recent years. 

Price further spoke about America's opposition to Israeli plans to rebuild the Homesh West Bank settlement during the press briefing. To read more on the story, click here.