On Thursday, the Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed “in principle” to meet in Moscow. The hope is that the meeting would kickstart a peace process that has been nascent for more than two years.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have been unable to make any progress on peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to give it a try.
There’s neither a set date nor an agenda for the meeting, although Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said both leaders have agreed to one. It’s also not the first time in recent days Moscow has tried to broker talks: On Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel had asked to delay a meeting tentatively set for this week.
If it does happen, and soon, new Israel-Palestine peace talks gives Putin a chance to succeed where the Obama administration has failed — even though it is unclear at best whether the two sides can overcome decades of sharp disputes.
The timing of Moscow’s announcement must also be uncomfortable for Kerry, who was meeting Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva to try to forge peace in Syria. Kerry was the Obama administration’s most dogged advocate of new peace talks between Israel and Palestine during a nine-month period in 2013 and 2014, but fell short.
Source – AFP