"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
MIDDLE EAST PEACE
2:51 p.m. EDT
QUESTION: Can I go to the Israeli --
MS. PSAKI: Go ahead, Said.
QUESTION: -- Palestinian issue?
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
QUESTION: Very quickly, can you update us on meetings that are taking place in Washington with the prime minister of Israel?
MS. PSAKI: Well, the – he will be hosted for a meeting tomorrow at the White House. The Secretary will participate in that meeting.
QUESTION: There are no plans to come – to have meetings here separate?
MS. PSAKI: Let me check on that, Said. I think – as you know, they met on Sunday evening. It certainly is possible. But before I came down, the schedule was still being finalized.
QUESTION: Okay. And the Palestinians were reacting to your statements yesterday by saying that you are upset with the Palestinians because they had a brick wall with the negotiations, it was going nowhere and they are seeking different avenues. Do you have anything to say to that, about going through the UN?
MS. PSAKI: I would – again, I think we’ve said before that a two-state solution will ultimately be reached in direct negotiation between the parties, not through unilateral steps. However, as I said yesterday, Prime Minister – or President Abbas is a personal friend of Secretary Kerry’s. We have a close relationship with the Palestinians. We believe that there are steps both sides could have taken to continue the talks when they fell apart last spring. So that has consistently been our view.
QUESTION: You also described them yesterday as being frozen. Do you have any idea when they can begin to defrost or when they have some sort of a process going on again?
MS. PSAKI: Well, there’d have to be steps taken by both sides, Said, in order to – for that to be --
QUESTION: Are you pushing for those steps? Are you leaning on both sides to go back to the negotiating table?
MS. PSAKI: We always reiterate the fact that our view is that there won’t be peace in the region until there’s a two-state solution between the parties. But obviously that requires steps by the parties in order to move that forward again.
QUESTION: And you would discourage the Palestinians very much from not --
MS. PSAKI: Taking a unilateral step? Yes, we would.
QUESTION: Just – and you just used the phrase “fall apart” and Said’s right, you did say “frozen” yesterday. And there’s a bit of a difference.
MS. PSAKI: Oh.
QUESTION: Are you trying to suggest that they’re – they have – they’re completely collapsed and unable – Humpty Dumpty, unable to be put back together again? Or is it --
MS. PSAKI: They were – no, they certainly have to be able to be put back together again. I will continue to use “frozen.” I think he threw me off by saying the --
MS. PSAKI: Defrost. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: All right. Let me ask you, today, again, 23 homes in East Jerusalem were confiscated and (inaudible) there seems to be more settlement activities. And you keep saying “you know our position on the settlements.” But what are you doing in terms of really discouraging the Israelis from doing settlement activities?
MS. PSAKI: I think – and I just want to make sure I’m talking about the right thing. Because we looked into what you were referring to yesterday, and are you referring to the reports that Palestinian residents of the Silwan neighborhood were forcibly evicted from their homes?
QUESTION: No. That was just how it occurred. But today, in addition – you have the Silwan neighborhood. But in addition to that, there were also 23 homes that were confiscated today, actually.
MS. PSAKI: Well, is it in the same neighborhood or is it --
QUESTION: It’s in the same neighborhood, yes.
MS. PSAKI: Well, one, we understand this was, first, the largest such eviction in Silwan in decades. Obviously at this point we’re still gathering more information. And the reason I said you’re familiar with our position is because we speak out about our views on that particular issue. We – and many other countries do about their concern about settlements and we’ll continue to do so.