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Quartet report on stalled peace process delayed again

Middle East group said to consider releasing key points Friday, pushing publication of full text to later date

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov talks during a press conference in Gaza City, September 17, 2015. (AP/Adel Hana)
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov talks during a press conference in Gaza City, September 17, 2015. (AP/Adel Hana)

A report by the Middle East Quartet about the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, slated for publication this week, has been delayed once again.

Quartet officials kept mum Thursday about the exact publication date, though it was rumored that it could take another few days.

One official said that it was possible that the Quartet — a consortium consisting of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia — would release a paper with the report’s key points but will delay publication of the entire report to a later date.

The UN’s special envoy to the peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, was scheduled to brief the UN Security Council Thursday afternoon.

Originally, the report was supposed to come out ahead of the June 3 peace summit in Paris, but was pushed off, presumably due to pressure by Israeli diplomats who frantically tried to have the document’s wording be modified in Israel’s favor.

It was reportedly slated to then be released last week before being delayed once more in light of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday in Rome.

Finally, the report was reportedly to be published Wednesday but was held off again for unknown reasons.

According to several officials who have read drafts of the report, it is expected to blame Israel’s settlement expansion and house demolitions for the stalemate in the peace process. However, the document also levels substantial criticism at the Palestinians, particularly for failing to stem violence and incitement.

The report also includes recommendations on what both sides can do to further the ultimate goal of a two-state solution.

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