The Obama administration on Tuesday suspended its demand for Israel to resume a freeze on settlement building in the West Bank. According to AFP, senior officials at the White House and the State Department disclosed Tuesday that weeks of talks to broker a new settlement freeze and resuscitate the peace talks had reached a deadlock.
"After consultations with the parties, we've determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time determine the best basis for resuming direct negotiations," a White House official said.
The White House promised continued efforts to try and unblock the Middle East peace process and said Israeli and Palestinian officials would visit Washington next week to work towards that end. "In the coming days and weeks, we'll engage with both sides on the core substantive issues at stake in this conflict... on how to create a firm basis towards the shared goal of a framework agreement on all permanent status issues," the official said.
"This was our goal in the beginning, and we remain committed to that goal."