US Department of State daily press briefing – Middle East peace process – Non-UN document (excerpts)

Jen Psaki

Deputy Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing

Washington, DC

March 17, 2014

Index for Today's Briefing


  • Abbas Visit/Status of Meeting
  • Jewish State Recognition



12:49 p.m. EST



OPERATOR: And our next question will come from Said Arikat with Al Quds.

MS. PSAKI: Hi, Said.

QUESTION: Hello, Jen. This is Said. Listen, very quickly I just want to follow up on Anne’s question. Now, you’re saying that the Secretary is meeting with President Abbas today at the State Department? Where are they meeting?

MS. PSAKI: That is my understanding. Let me just double-check and make sure. A lot of things have changed with the weather and the schedule, but that is the plan.

QUESTION: Can we have a timeframe? Do you have a timeframe? Is it going be like right after lunch?

MS. PSAKI: That’s right.

QUESTION: Okay. So it’s safe to assume it would be right around, like, 2 o’clock?

MS. PSAKI: Well, again, these things can sometimes run long. So it’s planned for this afternoon, and when it concludes we’ll provide a readout to all of you.

QUESTION: Okay. Let me ask you, on the issue of the framework agreement, are we getting ready to sort of – some sort of announcement? Is there any kind of announcement in the offing on the framework agreement? Because the clock is running out, and there seems to be all kinds of conflicting signals coming from both sides – in fact, all three sides, including the United States. Could you advise us on this issue?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, obviously, that’s why this is such a pivotal time in the negotiations, and that’s why in the coming weeks the parties are going to need to make tough choices. As you know, the Secretary and the negotiating team have been very closely engaged in this process, but ultimately only the two parties can agree to determine whether there is a path forward. So I don’t have anything to predict or announce for you in terms of the future. But obviously, our hope is that we can narrow the gaps. We’ll continue to work on that every day. Today is an opportunity for President Obama to take stock of where things stand, but I don’t have anything to predict or announce for you at this point.

QUESTION: So at the end of this visit, what kind of a likely statement are we likely to have?

MS. PSAKI: What kind of likely – I’m sorry.

QUESTION: What kind of a statement are we likely to have? Are we going to say that the talks are ongoing, that the gap is sort of narrowing, that people are seeing eye to eye on some of the issues that lead someone to sort of hope for continued negotiating past the 30th of April and so on? I mean, those are the kind of issues that people are talking about.

MS. PSAKI: Well, you’ll have to stay tuned and see what lands in your in-box, Said.



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