A three-week long round of meetings in the Jordanian capital, Amman, between the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators; Saeb Erekat and Isaac Molkho, has ended without having led to a resumption in negotiations or any other steps forward for the political process.
Palestinian and Israeli sources have said that in light of the PA’s insistence on a halt to illegal settlement construction as a precondition to the resumption of negotiations, alongside Tel Aviv’s continued refusal to comply with any Palestinian demands, the meetings in Amman yielded no progress.
High-ranking Palestinian sources announced that the Erekat-Molkho meeting, which took place on Wednesday, January 25, was the fifth and last in a series of “exploratory” talks between the two sides. The sources added that no more meetings would be held between negotiators from the two sides prior to consultations with Arab and international bodies.
Jordanian Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, said that results of the discussions were being evaluated and that consultations would be undertaken with the Arab League, the Arab Peace Initiative Committee, and the Middle East Quartet. He also said that no talks would be held next week “to allow us to assess where we are and how to move to the next stage”.
Judeh said that the meetings revealed differences between the stances taken by the two sides, but that they were marked by clarity, frankness, and genuineness.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, previously called for the resumption of peace talks in Jordan, asserting that negotiations were the only way to make progress. Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, has said that he is prepared to return to the negotiating table should Israel recognize the borders of the Palestinian State.