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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) makes a statement with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (L) and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat (R) during a press conference on the Middle East Peace Process Talks at the Department of State.
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators agreed to another round of peace talks after meeting in Washington on Tuesday. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the two sides were committed to “sustained, continuous and substantive negotiations on the core issues” that divide them. U.S. officials had previously said the negotiations would continue for a minimum of nine months without setting that as a time frame for reaching a deal.
Kerry said he was aware of the deep skepticism surrounding the new push for peace and acknowledged that the road ahead would be difficult. President Obama invited negotiators to the White House on Tuesday morning for a brief meeting with him and Vice President Joe Biden to show his support. But he made no public comments.
We’ve seen these peace talks before, what is different this time around? Does the unrest in the Middle East help or hurt peace talks? Does having the two sides in the U.S. for talks help or hurt the process?
Howard LaFranchi, Christian Science Monitor diplomatic correspondent