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September 9, 2013 10:45 am

U.S. Reiterates Nine Month Timeline for Peace Talks

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat address reporters on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations at the U.S. Department of State. Photo: State Department. Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) should strive to strike a permanent peace agreement within nine months, a statement by the U.S. State Department said Sunday, reiterating the original timetable for Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations that the Obama administration established in July.

The statement was released shortly after Secretary of State John Kerry met in Paris with a ministerial delegation assigned by the Arab League’s Peace Initiative Committee. The delegation included the foreign ministers and permanent Arab League representatives of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and was chaired by Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby.

The Arab League meeting was held after Kerry had met with Martin Indyk, Washington’s special envoy to the Middle East. According to the State Department’s statement, Kerry briefed the Arab League delegation on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations between the PA and Israel, and reiterated America’s commitment “to pursuing intensive negotiations to end the conflict through a permanent status agreement.”

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