Clinton: Talks the only way to move forward toward peace

US secretary of state's comments follow report of PA plans to possibly seek alternatives to direct negotiations, such as an appeal to UN or ICC to condemn settlement construction and declare Palestinian state.

hillary clinton 311 (photo credit: AP)
hillary clinton 311
(photo credit: AP)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said that a deal that would save peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians could still be worked out, however there exists no "magic formula" for breaking the impasse in negotiations, Reuters reported.
Clinton, speaking at a banquet hosted by the American Task Force on Palestine, said that both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were still committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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"Negotiations are not easy, but they are absolutely necessary. It is always easier to defer decisions than it is to make them," Clinton said. "I cannot stand here today and tell you there is a magic formula that I have discovered that will break through the current impasse. But we are working every day to create the conditions for negotiations to continue and succeed," she added.
"I know there are those who think that if they wait, scheme or fight long enough, they can avoid compromising or negotiating. But I am here to say that that is not the case. That will only guarantee more suffering, more sorrow, and more victims," she said.
Clinton's assertion that peace talks were the only way to solve the region's problems appeared to come in response to a New York Times report which said the Palestinian Authority is looking for alternatives to the stalled negotiations.
According to the Times Wednesday report, the PA leadership is considering an appeal to the United Nations, the International Court of Justice and the signatories of the Geneva Conventions to not only condemn Israel's renewed building in the West Bank, but ultimately to lead to an international declaration of a Palestinian state.
“We cannot go on this way,” said Fatah official Hanan Ashrawi, “The two-state solution is disappearing. If we cannot stop the settlements through the peace process, we have to go to the Security Council, the Human Rights Council and every international legal body.”
Ashrawi stated that Fatah was holding discussions on alternatives to the stalled peace process this week.
According to the New York Times report, US Middle East envoy George Mitchell will be returning to the region soon in the hope of renewing peace negotiations.