Livni: Israel-Palestinian talks to resume this month

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announces further peace talks at a news conference with Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (L) and Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (R) at the State Department in Washington July 30, 2013. (Reuters)

Direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are set to resume during the second week of August, Israel’s negotiator Tzipi Livni, who is also justice minister, said Saturday.

“These discussions that began in Washington will resume during the second week of August and will take place in the region,” Livni told the private Channel 10 television station, reported by AFP news agency.

She also said that the first of the 104 Palestinian prisoners to be released, as part of a drive to encourage the peace talks, would take place before the negotiations resume.

Asked if the agreement with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat aiming to reach a peace deal within nine months would be respected, Livni was cautious.

“If after eight months we see that an agreement is near and more time is needed, we will continue. But if the discussions are not serious, we will know this within a month,” she said.

The first round of resumed peace talks with the Palestinians was held in Washington at the start of this week after months of dogged U.S. diplomacy ended a three-year hiatus.

(With AFP)
 

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