The ”Quartet” met in Berlin yesterday to discuss the moribund Israeli/Palestinian “peace process”. US Sec-State Condoleeza Rice stated that: “How can it be that you have talks about peace when one party will not recognize the other party’s right to exist?”
The Quartet: “reaffirmed its statements regarding its support for a Palestinian government committed to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the road map, and encouraged progress in this direction.”
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier: “All involved are well aware that this is and remains a difficult process”. “We have to show a great deal of realism as far as expectations are concerned.”
So what does YLE Finnish state TV report in its English version of the news? “The harshest words made in the meeting were by the US Sec-Sate Condoleeza Rice”, who basically just repeated the Quartet’s terms for any Palestinian government seeking international recognition and funding.
I fail to see the stark difference in attitudes and statements by the four representatives of the Quartet, who were all unanimous about Hamas recognizing Israel, commit to non-violence and recognizing all previously signed agreements with Israel. More here. *L* KGS
Update: After reading other reports on the recent meeting in Berlin, I have to admit that my initial statements were not entirely correct. There are apparent cracks developing in the Quartet’s joint policy concerning Hamas. European officials (surprise surprise) are showing their enthusiasm for turning a blind eye to Hamas’ refusal to recognize Israel, one official saying: “There are ways that we can be flexible” .
Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, also stated that: “It was also underscored that further steps must be taken to support the Palestinians. One certainly shouldn’t speak of a boycott in this regard.”
I had stated earlier that ” Europe is chomping at the bit” to recognize Hamas and resume funding. It was inevitable.