Palestinian and Israeli Peace Talks Set To Resume In Washington

Palestinian and Israeli Peace Talks Set To Resume In Washington

Palestinian and Israeli Peace Talks Set To Resume In Washington

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that he believes an agreement for long-term peace in the Mideast is possible in the near future.  Netanyahu was preparing to board a flight that will bring him to the United States to renew peace talks with Palestinian officials.  He said that as long as the Palestinian leaders take negotiations seriously, he was hopeful that a stable and long-lasting agreement could be reached.

Netanyahu and Palestinian officials will meet in Washington to revive peace talks, which have stalled.  President Barak Obama will preside over the talks, which are supposed to begin on Wednesday.  Netanyahu stated that a peace agreement based around bringing stability to the region for its people and their children was the ultimate goal of discussions.

Palestinian officials still wonder if the Israeli Prime Minister is actually committed to reaching an agreement for peace.  One of the major obstacles for the peace talks this time around has centered on the building of Israeli settlements on the West Bank.  There is currently a 10-month freeze on all building, though that freeze is set to expire at the end of September.  Netanyahu has refused to comment on Palestinian demands that the freeze be extended.

On Sunday, Netanyahu turned down a proposal by Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, which would have restarted construction only in major settlement areas expected to go back under Israeli control in any peace agreement.  Palestinian officials have threatened to walk out of the peace negotiations if building in the areas along the West Bank resumes and there is no agreement in place.  The fact that Netanyahu and the Israeli government have yet to address their concerns, has left Palestinian officials worried about how the negotiations will move forward.


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