Daily Archives: November 12, 2010
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November 12, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Despite the recent diplomatic spat between Moscow and Tokyo, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with the Japanese premier during the forthcoming APEC summit, Medvedev’s spokeswoman confirmed on Friday.
The Russian leader is to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to be held on November 13-14 in Yokohama. Kan said last week he was not sure if the meeting with Medvedev would go ahead.
“The Japanese side traditionally raises the issue of the Kuril Islands at such meetings. Russia’s position remains unchanged,” Natalya Timakova said.
A long-standing territorial dispute between Moscow and Tokyo over the Kuril Islands, called the Northern Territories by Japan, was aggravated by a recent visit by Medvedev to one of the islands. Tokyo has described the visit, the first trip by a Russian president to the disputed islands, as “regrettable,” while Moscow argued it is up to the Russian authorities to decide on their trips inside the country.
Following the row sparked by Medvedev’s visit, Japan temporarily recalled its ambassador from Russia. The ambassador was to return to Moscow on Sunday as the Japanese government decided to refrain from further actions of protest.
SEOUL, November 12 (RIA Novosti)
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November 11, 2010 (KATAKAMI / JPOST) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York Thursday, on a day when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told supporters at a memorial rally for his predecessor Yasser Arafat in Ramallah that “making peace is more important than anything else.”
Prior to entering the meeting, Clinton and Netanyahu posed for photographs and spoke briefly to assembled press.
“The prime minister and president Abbas are both very committed to a two-state solution and we are going to find a way forward,” Clinton said, according to an AFP report.
“We’re going to be talking about everything and I’ll be saving my comments beyond what I’ve already said for my talks with the prime minister,” said the secretary of state.
Netanyahu responded in kind, saying he was “serious” about restarting the peace talks, which have been stalled since September following the end of the ten month settlement construction moratorium.
“We’ll be talking about how to resume and continue this process to get a historic agreement with peace and security between us and the Palestinians,” Netanyahu reportedly said.
He continued: “We also hope to broaden it to many other Arab countries… we are quite serious about doing it and we want to get on with it.” (*)
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November 11, 2010 (KATAKAMI / HAARETZ) — PM vows commitment to U.S.-sponsored negotiations despite plans for new Jewish housing in West Bank.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he was “serious” about talks with the Palestinians as he met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton amid an impasse which threatens to scuttle the U.S.-backed peace negotiations.
“We’ll be talking about how to resume and continue this process to get a historic agreement with peace and security between us and the Palestinians,” Netanyahu said as he began a meeting with Clinton in New York.
“We also hope to broaden it to many other Arab countries … we are quite serious about doing it and we want to get on with it.”
Thursday’s meeting follows Israel’s decision to proceed with a new housing project in part of the West Bank that it annexed to Jerusalem 43 years ago, underscoring Palestinian fears that Netanyahu’s government will push ahead with settlements regardless of the impact on the peace process.
Clinton, who on Wednesday said the Israeli decision on settlement building was counterproductive, said she still believed that both Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were serious about the talks.
“The prime minister and President Abbas are both very committed to a two-state solution. And we are going to find a way forward,” she said.
Israeli officials say Netanyahu intends to discuss with Clinton the need for forging broad U.S.-Israeli understandings on Israel’s security needs in any eventual peace agreement in light of enormous security challenges expected in the coming decade.
“The chances of reaching a peace agreement will be improved significantly by achieving comprehensive security understandings between Israel and the United States,” Netanyahu said.
Israel wants a long-term military presence in the Jordan Valley along the eastern border of a future Palestinian state as well as financial help to pay for security arrangements that would be necessary if a peace deal is achieved.
The New York meeting comes as the United States works to revive talks that began in Washington on September 2 but were suspended by the Palestinians three weeks later when Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month limited building freeze in West Bank settlements.
Netanyahu, whose governing coalition is dominated by pro-settler parties, has so far resisted calls for a freeze on settlement construction. But U.S. officials say they still hope to find a formula to revive the talks, which U.S. President Barack Obama has said could yield a deal within a year to set up an independent Palestinian state.
With the peace process in limbo, the Palestinians have stepped up calls for the international community to move ahead and recognize Palestinian statehood now – a move the United States fears could further complicate the situation.(*)