The Middle East Quartet— the U.S., European Union, United Nations and Russia—are meeting today in a final effort to restart direct peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. The Quartet affirmed in a statement on July 2 its support for direct negotiations before any declaration of Palestinian statehood. The Palestinian Authority has until July 15 to file papers with the United Nations if they plan to seek recognition by the U.N. General Assembly this fall.
On Thursday, July 11, the House of Representatives voted 407–6 (and 13 Present) in favor of House Resolution 268, reaffirming the United States' commitment to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The Senate passed a similar resolution (S.RES.185) at the end of last month. These resolutions also emphasized Congress' opposition to a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.