Quartet Calls for Palestinian State in 24 Months From… Sometime

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Friday, March 19, 2010 at 8:57 am

The Quartet of major international players attempting to broker an Israeli-Palestinian negotiated settlement — the European Union, the U.S., Russia, and the United Nations — have issued a new statement lauding George Mitchell’s brokered “proximity talks” between the two parties, and calling for those talks to yield direct negotiations with the goal of an independent Palestinian state in 24 months. Well, that’s 24 months from whenever those direct talks (to which neither the Israelis or the Palestinians have yet agreed) actually begin. The statement endorses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for talks “without pre-conditions.” But then it gets more troublesome for Netanyahu:

Recalling that the annexation of East Jerusalem is not recognized by the international community, the Quartet underscores that the status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the parties and condemns the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem. The Quartet re-affirms its intention to closely monitor developments in Jerusalem and to keep under consideration additional steps that may be required to address the situation on the ground.

So much for Jackson Diehl’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” on Jerusalem settlement construction.

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