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July 28, 2013 6:41 pm

US State Dept Says Peace Talks to Begin Monday Evening

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Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will begin peace talks in Washington on Monday evening. Photo: Antje Wildgrube/Wikimedia Commons.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will begin peace talks in Washington on Monday evening. Photo: Antje Wildgrube/Wikimedia Commons.

Times of Israel – Hours after helping approve a prisoner release that will pave the way for the opening of peace talks, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni was slated to fly to Washington Sunday night to hold a lightning round of initial negotiations with the Palestinians. Livni, who is tasked with heading Israel’s negotiation team, will meet in Washington with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The State Department announced Sunday that the two sides had accepted invitations from Kerry to come to Washington “to formally resume direct final status negotiations.” Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the initial meetings would begin Monday evening and continue Tuesday. Kerry called both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday and said they agreed that the talks would “serve as an opportunity to develop a procedural work plan for how the parties can proceed with the negotiations in the coming months.”

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