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THE LATEST PEACE TALKS


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Exercise 17.

Read the information and answer the questions:

How productive were the latest talks?

What results were achieved by the warring sides if any?

Roadmap, 2003

The roadmap is a plan drawn up by the "Quartet" – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.It does not lay down the details of a final settlement, but suggests how a settlement might be approached It is designed to create confidence, leading to final status talks.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are restarting peace talk on 14 August 2013 in Jerusalem under US mediation. The two sides are meeting for the first time in nearly three years to negotiate an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state solution formula.

Mr Kerry said in late July that all final-status issues – Jerusalem, borders, security arrangements, settlements and Palestinian refugees – would be on the table. He did not specify a timetable and added that both sides had agreed to keep the contents of meetings confidential.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an April meeting with Mr Kerry that Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would be among the first issues. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Cairo in July that the talks would focus first on borders and security.

Hostilities between the two sides resumed after talks on a long-term ceasefire deal collapsed. Israel has vowed to pursue its campaign until "full security" is achieved. Fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip is currently on hold after both sides agreed to a long-term ceasefire. The past seven weeks have seen the deadliest violence in years, punctuated by a succession of failed truces.

The UN Security Council voiced "grave concern" at the resumption of hostilities and "called upon the parties to resume negotiations to urgently reach a sustainable and lasting ceasefire".

In October 2014 both sides have agreed to an Egyptian-sponsored deal, which has been painstakingly difficult to arrive at. It is not the first ceasefire since Israel launched its offensive on 8 July – indeed there have been numerous and they have been short-lived.

However, unlike earlier truces which were for intended to last for hours or days, the latest ceasefire is open-ended. After 50 days of fighting, there is more impetus – and war-weariness on both sides – to find a way bring an end to the conflict to a conclusion than at any time before.

The ceasefire deal appears to combine elements of proposals that have been under discussion for weeks. However, differences in initial statements from both sides. According to officials from the Palestinian factions, restrictions on Gaza's crossings with Israel would be eased and humanitarian supplies and desperately-needed materials for reconstruction allowed in. Fishing limits will also be extended, they said.

Discussions about other issues, like Hamas' demand for an airport and a sea terminal, will be put off for a month, they added. A senior Israeli official told the BBC that while Israel accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, it did not include the issue of a seaport, airport or the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Exercise 18


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