David Hale, the Obama administration’s special envoy for Middle East peace, continues to press Israel and the Palestinians to return to the peace table.
Hale toured Israel and the Palestinian areas last week, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday.
He then continued to Geneva to consult with representatives of the Quartet, the grouping of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations that guides the Middle East peace process.
“He continues to do his quiet diplomatic work to try to get the parties back to the table,” Nuland said.
Most of the recent media and political attention on the U.S.-Israel relationship has focused on Israel’s concerns that Iran may be nearing nuclear weapons capability and on U.S. efforts to head off an Israeli strike.
Obama administration officials have said that they remain committed to restarting peace talks.
Of particular concern is Abbas’ plans to revive an effort to achieve international recognition of Palestinian statehood absent such talks.