David Hale, the U.S. Envoy for Middle East Peace, has been in meetings this week and last week with a number of Israeli, Palestinian, and other Middle East officials. On Saturday, he met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Hale's schedule this week includes meetings with Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.
From the State Department Press Briefing on April 23, 2012, with Spokesperson Victoria Nuland:
QUESTION: The Palestinian issue?
MS. NULAND: Yeah.
QUESTION: Yes. There is an apparent estrangement between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. And my question to you, in this kind of atmosphere, how do you conduct whatever talks or lack of talks, if you would, with both entities? How do you conduct your business with them?
MS. NULAND: Well, I’m not going to get into internal issues within the Palestinian Authority. Obviously, we work with all the leading Palestinian figures. We obviously work with President Abbas, who David Hale had the chance to sit with on Saturday. We see Mr. Fayyad obviously, and David also works with Palestinian negotiator Erekat, who he anticipates seeing, I think it’s tomorrow.
So our goal is to continue to try to work with all parties on the Palestinian Authority side and with the Israelis to increase the opportunity for them to be in direct contact and to really get this conversation back to where it needs to be.
QUESTION: And Mr. Hale discussed the content of the letter that Mahmoud Abbas submitted last week with him?
MS. NULAND: Well, I would anticipate that he did, but I’m not going to get into the details of their discussion.
QUESTION: Yeah. This letter is really the point of contention between the two – between Fayyad and Abbas.
MS. NULAND: From our perspective, the fact that the sides are in contact, whether it’s by letter – obviously we prefer face to face, but the fact that this conversation is continuing is important. So we are trying to talk to all of the involved parties about how they can make the most of the time in front of them and the channels available to them.
QUESTION: Are you aware of the misunderstanding between Abbas and Fayyad?
MS. NULAND: I’m really not going to get into internal issues between members of the Palestinian Authority. Please.
Later in the briefing:
QUESTION: Can we go back to the Palestinian issue?
MS. NULAND: Yeah.
QUESTION: Is Ambassador Hale mediating between the Palestinians, or between the Palestinians and the Israelis?
MS. NULAND: So David – let me just go through his schedule, if I can. Special Envoy Hale met with President Abbas on Saturday, with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah and other officials in Kuwait on April 22nd. He arrived in Jerusalem today. He will meet with Israeli negotiator Molho.
QUESTION: I’m sorry. Can you say that again?
MS. NULAND: He’s in Jerusalem today. He’ll meet with Israeli negotiator Molho, and then he’ll meet with Palestinian negotiator Erekat separately tonight and tomorrow. I’m not sure in what order. And then he will also, tomorrow, see Foreign Minister Judeh, I assume in Amman. And then, as we said, he plans to go on to Saudi, to Qatar, to Egypt. And then he’s probably going to go back to the region, but that hasn’t been decided yet.
QUESTION: That means he’s not mediating between Abbas and Fayyad?
MS. NULAND: Correct. He is not getting involved in internal Palestinian Authority issues.
QUESTION: And when did he see Fayyad?
MS. NULAND: Say again?
QUESTION: When did he see Fayyad, the prime minister?
MS. NULAND: We had Fayyad here in Washington not too long ago.
QUESTION: No, no. Isn’t he supposed to meet with Fayyad in --
MS. NULAND: I don’t have that on this list, but let me check with him whether he intends to see Mr. Fayyad on this trip.
Printer friendly version
Return to the previous page