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238 words - July 31, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
A day after appointing Ambassador Martin Indyk as US Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, US Secretary of State John Kerry concluded the initial meeting in Washington DC, delivering remarks along with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat. "I know the path is difficult. There is no shortage of passionate skeptics," said Secretary Kerry.
However, with "capable negotiators," like Minister Livni and Dr. Erekat, Mr. Kerry said, "the parties have agreed to remain engaged in sustained, continuous, and substantive negotiations on the core issues, and they will meet within the next two weeks in either Israel or the Palestinian Territories in order to begin the process of formal negotiation."
Also, the parties have agreed "that all of the final status issues, all of the core issues, and all other issues are all on the table for negotiation," with the United States working as "a facilitator every step of the way." Dr. Erekat welcomed Mr. Kerry's commitment and that there will not be any exception in the issues to be addressed in the talks. Mrs. Livni praised President Barack Obama's and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's leadership and described the resumption of the talks as "a new opportunity (…) we cannot afford to waste."
The Middle East Quartet shared a similar viewpoint, however noting "that much hard work lies ahead."
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