WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- The United States welcomes the upcoming meeting between the Palestinians and the Israelis to be held in Jordan, which is aimed at resuming the long-stalled direct negotiations on the Middle East peace process, U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton said on Sunday.
"We welcome and support this positive development. I applaud the efforts of the King and Foreign Minister Judeh (of Jordan) to bring the parties together and encourage them to approach these meetings constructively," Clinton said in a statement issued by the State Department.
"I have been in close contact with Foreign Minister Judeh and with (U.S.) Special Envoy (for Middle East Peace) David Hale," she added.
Clinton's statement came after the Jordanian government announced on Sunday that it will host two meetings on Tuesday, one with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and the Quartet envoys, and the other between the Israeli and Palestinian representatives.
The Quartet, which groups the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, has been pressing the Israelis and the Palestinians to resume direct negotiations over a two-state solution.
The group wants the two parties to present comprehensive proposals within three months on territory and security, make substantial progress within six months, and reach an overall agreement by the end of 2012.
The upcoming meeting does not represent a formal resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian direct peace negotiations, which collapsed briefly after they restarted in Washington in September 2010. But it signals the possibility that the talks may revive in the near future.
"When I met with the other Quartet principals on Sept. 23 we put forward a framework for resuming direct negotiations between the parties. We knew that progress toward this goal would not be easy so it is essential that both sides take advantage of this opportunity," said Clinton.
She was also hopeful for the resumption of the direct peace talks, emphasizing the "urgent need" for a lasting peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
"The status quo is not sustainable and the parties must act boldly to advance the cause of peace," said Clinton.
Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts