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A Basis For Resuming MidEast Peace Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center left, meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center right, on Friday, July 19, 2013 in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israel and the Palestinians agreed to meet in order to negotiate guidelines for resuming peace talks.

Last week, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to meet in order to negotiate guidelines for resuming peace talks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the breakthrough July 19th in Amman, Jordan.

A Basis For Resuming MidEast Peace Talks
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“We have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” said Secretary Kerry. “This is a significant and welcome step forward.”

Mr. Kerry said the agreement is still in the process of being formalized and that “if everything goes as expected” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy Isaac Molho, will join Secretary Kerry in Washington to begin initial talks “within the next week or so.”

Secretary of State Kerry said, “The best way to give these negotiations a chance is to keep them private. Everyone knows this is not easy. . .We know that the challenges require some very tough choices in the days ahead.”

He praised what he called “the courageous leadership” shown by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. “Both of them,” Mr. Kerry said, “have chosen to make difficult choices here, and both of them were instrumental in pushing in this direction.”

Secretary of State Kerry noted that he is hopeful because of “the positive steps Israelis themselves and Palestinians are taking on the ground and the promise that those steps represent about the possibilities of the future. The path to resolution of this longstanding conflict in this critical corner of the world,” said Mr. Kerry, “is not about fate. It’s about choice, choices that people can make. . .It’s up to the Israeli people and the Palestinian people and no one else.”

Secretary of State Kerry said that “knowing that the road ahead will be difficult and the challenges that the parties face are daunting, we will call on everybody to act in the best of faith and push forward. The representatives of two proud peoples today have decided that the difficult road ahead is worth traveling and the daunting challenges that we face are worth tackling…They have courageously recognized that in order for Israelis and Palestinians to live together side by side in peace and security, they must begin by sitting at the table together in direct talks.”