Foreign Policy’s Laura Rozen has some details from a briefing Dan Shapiro, the National Security Council director for the Middle East and North Africa, gave to European diplomats last week on the George Mitchell-Benjamin Netanyahu meeting. The basic gist — there’s still more work to be done on settlements:
The upshot was that more talks are needed, and there is apparently still not a small amount to continue talking about, as the Mitchell and Netanyahu teams try to work out apparently remaining differences over specific exceptions to a total West Bank settlement freeze and in particular the issue of East Jerusalem. Netanyahu has tried to argue in more public venues that Jerusalem should not be considered as part of the settlement issue. Privately, a Middle East hand earlier told The Cable, what Netanyahu may be arguing for with the Americans may have more to do with optics, e.g. whether he can privately agree to refrain from further Jewish construction or Palestinian evictions in East Jerusalem, but not have it be formally announced as part of a public deal.