Jordan to U.S.: Find New Formula for Restarting Mideast Peace Talks

Australian FM during visit to Jordan: Israeli settlement activity must cease because it undermines the effectiveness of the peace process.

Jordan urged the United States to come up with a new formula for restarting stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said on Sunday that although Washington has abandoned its effort for a West Bank settlement freeze, U.S. officials were still trying to get the peace process moving forward.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (AP)
AP Photo / Alex Brandon, Pool

Judeh declined to provide details and spoke in a joint press conference Sunday with visiting Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.

Rudd said Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank "must cease" because it "undermines the effectiveness of the peace process."

The Palestinians won't resume negotiations without a full settlement construction freeze.

The U.S. now wants to return to indirect talks.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a speech to the Saban Forum that Israel and Palestinians both bear responsibility for the failure of the short-lived direct talks that took place in September.

Neither leadership has "yet made the difficult decisions that peace requires. Like many of you, I regret that we have not gotten farther, faster," Clinton said. "Israeli and Palestinian leaders should stop trying to assign blame for the next failure and focus instead on what they need to do to make these efforts succeed."

The Obama administration announced last week that it stopped trying to get Israel to renew a freeze on West Bank settlement construction for three months, after a 10-month freeze expired on September 26.

Despite their disappointment with the U.S. for not solely blaming Israel for the collapse of the direct talks, the Palestinians are likely to participate in indirect talks. They said they'll make a final decision within a week.