Al-Jazeera exposed ‘Palestine Papers’ has made Israel-Palestine peace pact harder: US

January 25th, 2011 - 1:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Ehud Olmert Washington, Jan.25 (ANI): The US State Department acknowledged Monday that the “Palestine Papers,” released by Al-Jazeera, has complicated American efforts to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

But it said it wouldn’t slow the Obama administration’s work toward that goal.

“We don’t deny that this release will, at least for a time, make the situation more difficult than it already was,” the Jerusalem Post quoted US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, as saying about the 1,600 confidential documents Al- Jazeera said it had obtained.

The documents - which outline Palestinian willingness to make concessions on Jerusalem and other final status issues - are said to be from the period of negotiations between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Abbas and other Palestinian officials have challenged the veracity of some of the documents.

Crowley noted that the documents weren’t American, and therefore, couldn’t be verified by the US.

However, he added that they would have an effect on the political challenges of resolving the conflict “regardless of whether one document is accurate, and one is not.”

“None of this changes our understanding of what is at stake, or what needs to be done. We continue to believe a framework agreement is both possible and necessary. We continue to work with and engage the parties,” Crowley said.

US officials have spoken extensively to Palestinian and Israeli officials in the past day, according to Crowley, who said their conversations dealt largely with preparing to move forward with next week’s Quartet meeting.

He said the recent document leak was only one further sign of the obstacles that lay ahead. (ANI)

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