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New Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks overshadowed by low expectations

English.news.cn   2010-08-23 14:20:24 FeedbackPrintRSS

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM/RAMALLAH, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Israeli and Palestinian leaders and negotiators are due in Washington next week to relaunch direct peace talks after nearly two tension-fraught years for the two Mideast neighbors.

The face-to-face dialogues, said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when announcing the step forward on Friday, are aimed at resolving all final status issues within one year, including thorny subjects like Jewish settlements, Palestinians refugees and East Jerusalem.

Yet citing intricate difficulties in the decades-old feud and different dispositions of the parties involved in the run-up to the scheduled direct talks, officials and analysts cautioned that many obstacles remain before any possible breakthrough can be achieved.

PALESTINIANS: DRAGGED TO THE TABLE

The Palestinian leadership did consent to the U.S.-brokered plan, but not without dragging its feet.

Following Clinton's announcement on Friday, senior members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) debated bitterly for hours at an emergent meeting on Friday before agreeing to restart direct talks with Israel.

PLO executive committee member Abu Yusuf told Xinhua that many participants criticized the United Unites for neglecting the rights of the Palestinians and urged Washington to specify its standpoint on the settlement issue.

Under heavy U.S. pressure, the Palestinians entered indirect talks with Israel in May. Yet so far, no visible progress has been achieved on any of the core issues.

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts

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Editor: Deng Shasha
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