United States doubts Mideast peace


PARIS: Fresh leaks of diplomatic cables from 2009 by online whistleblower Wikileaks on Monday showed US doubts over Israel’s commitment to the Middle East peace process due to disagreement over Israeli settlements.
A US cable from November 2009, published online by Wikileaks and by French newspaper Le Monde, said Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu wanted to negotiate with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen.
But it added: “it remains unclear to us how far Netanyahu is prepared to go.” He “is interested in taking steps to strengthen Abu Mazen, but he will not agree to the total freeze on Israeli construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that Abu Mazen insists is a requirement” for negotiations, it said. Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the first for nearly two years, began in Washington on September 2.