Good faith negotiations could end conflict in ME: Clinton

Good faith negotiations could end conflict in ME: Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures during a joint news conference with Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, in Washington on Friday. AP

"The US believes that through good faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines with agreed swaps.

"And the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognised borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a joint press conference with her Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh.

Clinton said the US and Jordan share a commitment to seeking a comprehensive peace in Middle East based on a two-state solution.

"We are working with the Israelis, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and the Arab states to take the steps needed to re-launch negotiations as soon as possible and without preconditions, which is in the interests of everyone in the region," she said.

However, both the US and Jordan, she said, are concerned about recent activities in Jerusalem. "The US recognises that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, for Jews, Muslims, and Christians around the world."

"We believe it is possible to realise the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for Jerusalem and safeguard its status as a symbol of the three great religions for all people," she said.

The Jordanian Foreign Minister said the two countries agreed on the need to re-launch serious negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, negotiations that are bound by a timeline and a clear plan with benchmarks to end this lingering conflict, to establish an independent sovereign and contiguous Palestinian state along the June '67 lines in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza living side-by-side with a safe and secure state of Israel.

"It is also vital to achieve a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on the basis of the internationally agreed upon terms of reference and the Arab Peace Initiative that will ensure a secure and collaborative regional order.

"We are all in agreement that there are serious difficulties, but we hope that 2010 will see the continued and much needed leadership role that the United States can play in this regard," Judeh said.

Noting that Jerusalem is potentially a flash point, Judeh said: "Actions on the ground in Jerusalem can turn into provocative and antagonising actions to the followers of the three great religions. So it's very important to try and avoid unilateral action in Jerusalem."

"There is a growing sense of urgency to move forward in the talks and to achieve tangible progress, therefore creating a more enabling political environment that would allow us to address, collectively and more adequately, all the regional and global challenges before us today."

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