U.S. blocks Quartet peace outline


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States reportedly blocked an initiative by other major powers to outline an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.

The three other members of the Quartet guiding Middle East peace talks — the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — had pressed for publication of such an initiative as early as this Friday, The Associated Press reported.

The United States, which usually leads the Quartet initiatives, nixed the idea, saying it was not the right time.

Such an outline would include borders and solutions for the Palestinian refugees and for sharing Jerusalem.

Talks have been stalled since September, when the Palestinian Authority walked out because Israel would not extend a partial freeze on settlement building.

Israel and the United States say the burden is on the Palestinians to return to direct talks, but the other members of the Quartet also blame Israel for not stemming settlement building.

Israeli President Shimon Peres made keeping such an initiative from coming forward at this time a key message of his Washington and U.N. visits last week.

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