Israel, Palestinians to resume direct talks

Hillary Clinton is expected to announce Friday that Israel and the Palestinians will resume direct peace talks for the first time in 20 months, the New York Times reported.

By (AFP)

Published: Fri 20 Aug 2010, 10:56 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:50 AM

The Times, citing two unnamed officials briefed on the situation, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, have agreed to place a one-year time limit on the talks.

US President Barack Obama is expected to invite Netanyahu and Abbas to Washington in early September to start the negotiations, the Times said late Thursday.

“We think we are very, very close to a decision by the parties to enter into direct negotiations. There are details that are still being worked out,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters earlier Thursday.

Crowley said Clinton consulted with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judah, a key Arab peace broker, and Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who represents the diplomatic Quartet.

The Quartet — composed of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union — could issue a statement in support of direct peace talks that have been suspended since December 2008.

“We believe that, if we reach the point we hope to arrive at, that... members of the Quartet will demonstrate their support for the process; we will demonstrate our support for the process.” Crowley said.

“And we will outline... specifics of where we go from here,” the spokesman said.

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