Direct talks soon on ME peace
US: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to
announce yesterday that Israel and the Palestinians will resume direct
peace talks for the first time in 20 months, the New York Times
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
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.
WASHINGTON, Wednesday, AFP