CMEP Bulletin: Limited Details Emerge About Peace Talks
Special Bulletin from Churches for Middle East Peace
More details are emerging after Friday’s breaking news that United States Secretary of State John Kerry “reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations.”
When making his announcement, Kerry told reporters, “The agreement is still in the process of being formalized, so we are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now. Any speculation or reports you may read in the media or elsewhere or here in the press are conjecture. They are not based on fact because the people who know the facts are not talking about them. The parties have agreed that I will be the only one making further comments about this.” This means details are still hazy but parties are hoping to come to Washington as soon as this week to begin the process.
In light of this development, CMEP welcomes “breakthrough”
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) congratulates Secretary Kerry, as well as courageous Palestinian and Israeli leaders, for the announcement that negotiators are expected to meet in Washington in the near future to resume direct negotiations on terms for the establishment a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure and democratic State of Israel. While important details still need to be determined it is an immense achievement for all parties to have arrived at this point.
Amidst general skepticism, a history of failed negotiations, dashed hopes, deep distrust, and interests on both sides that embrace conflict, progress towards agreement will be slow. But agreement is still not impossible. This time the United States must be truly an impartial mediator, making both sides aware of the great costs of failure and the great benefits of a lasting agreement.
As people rooted in a faith of resurrection and hope beyond hope, we believe that peace is possible if we have the will to make it happen! As Secretary Kerry and others negotiate, CMEP will join the cloud of witnesses urging them to run with perseverance the course to a durable peace that can free two peoples from the injustice and violence they have endured too long.
We must not allow ourselves or them be diverted from this task.