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Kerry to propose framework for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

English.news.cn   2013-12-31 12:53:29            

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss with Israeli and Palestinian leaders a framework for permanent status negotiations during his forthcoming visit to the Middle East, the State Department said Monday.

The framework will "serves as guidelines for the permanent status negotiation and address all the core issues," spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a regular news briefing.

The top U.S. envoy will have a detailed consultation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, working to bridge gaps between the two sides, Harf said.

"It makes sense to put some guidelines around the discussions of each of the final status issues to drive the process forward," she added.

The forthcoming trip, which starts on Wednesday, will mark Kerry's tenth trip to the region since taking the top diplomatic job.

Peace talks between Israel and Palestine were restarted under the brokerage of Washington in late July with a view to finalizing an agreement by the end of April next year, but blame-trading between the two sides has brought the talks to a halt.

Israeli media reported on Wednesday that Netanyahu was expected to announce a plan to build thousands of new settlement housing units.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday that Israel would destroy the peace talks if it announced any new plans for settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and could be met with retaliation.

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Israel releases third group of Palestinian prisoners

JERUSALEM, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Israel freed 26 Palestinian prisoners early Tuesday, as part of a U.S.-brokered agreement to resume direct peace talks between the two sides.

The prisoners -- 18 men from the West Bank, three from the Gaza Strip and five others from east Jerusalem -- were freed from Ofer Prison near Ramallah, said Israeli Prison Service spokesperson Sivan Weizmann.  Full story

Violence escalates as Mideast peace process goes crucial

RAMALLAH, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Violence in the Palestinian territories, mainly in the West Bank, might escalate as a nine- month U.S.-sponsored peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is getting into its last crucial four months, observers and analysts said.

The direct peace talks between the two sides, which were resumed in late July, are scheduled to last for nine months. No significant progress has so far been achieved to bring optimism on reaching a permanent peaceful solution that ends a conflict that has been going on for decades.   Full story

Abbas says to complete peace talks with Israel

RAMALLAH, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday night that the Palestinians are committed to the peace talks with Israel for nine months.

"We are still committed to what has been agreed upon with Secretary of State John Kerry to continue the direct peace talks with Israel for nine months," Abbas said in a statement published by Wafa state-run news agency.   Full story

Editor: Liu Dan
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