Colombia’s Farc rebels release more hostages

Piedad Córdoba

Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Two hostages were released Friday 11 February by Farc rebels in Colombia. They released another hostage earlier in the week and have said they intend to free two more Sunday. The International Red Cross (ICRC) based in Geneva, and a former Colombian senator, Piedad Cordoba, have mediated the releases. Farc is […]

India and Pakistan to resume peace talks in “quick succession”

India and Pakistan say they will resume formal peace talks on all outstanding issues including Kashmir, although they say, some issues are likely to slow any progress toward defusing tensions. These talks will take place in “quick succession” with the aim to have them completed within the next three months, reports The Indian Express. Prime […]

USA gives up on Israel settlement freeze

The US government has said it will no longer pursue efforts to persuade the Israeli government to freeze settlements in the occupied territories in order to resume stalled peace talks with the Palestinians. The USA promised Israel 20 Stealth fighter jets worth $3 billion and US vetoes on anti-Israel resolutions in the UN Security Council […]

Experts downplay seriousness of Afghan peace talks

The high-level peace talks between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and senior Taliban leaders are little more than “exchanges of cash and prisoners”, according to the Guardian. It is not unusual, experts say, that fighting and talking go on simultaneously, and war has traditionally been conducted this way. Also, the US military needs to show that […]

Israel’s foreign minister distanced by prime minister

Peace with the Palestinians “may take decades” and involve “exchanges of populated territory”, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann told the UN General Assembly 28 September. His remarks came as Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is engaging Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in peace talks. They have committed to signing a peace deal within a year. Lieberman is […]

Getting back on track in the Mideast

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meeting with US officials Thursday 2 September in Washington, DC, have agreed to hold regular talks, starting in September in the Middle East. They will then meet every two weeks. George Mitchell, US President Barack Obama’s special envoy, announced that the purpose of the […]

Clinton puts Middle East solution at top of agenda

US Secretary of State hosts Israeli, Gaza leaders for relaunch of peace talks Hillary Clinton is pushing a solution to the West Bank to the top of the US foreign policy agenda when she hosts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday and Thursday in Washington. The New York Times […]

Mystery over content of Netanyahu, Obama meeting

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left an unusually long meeting with US President Barack Obama smiling and talking about a “golden way” forward that had been discussed, but equally unusually there has been no official comment about the talks involved or agreements reached. Unofficially and off the record, says NPR in Washington, US officials are […]

Switzerland calls on Israel to halt new settlements

Bern, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Switzerland has added its voice to a growing number of nations asking Israel to end its plans to build 1,600 new homes in the Occupied West Bank. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in a statement Thursday morning 11 March called the decision a clear violation of international law. […]

US urges Mideast “take a risk for peace” without preconditions

US President Barack Obama urged the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president  to drop preconditions and to”take a risk for peace”, in New York 22 September. “It is past time to talk about starting negotiations. It is time to move forward”, Obama said. The three-way talks were described as “direct” and “sometimes blunt”. Palestinian […]