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WASHINGTON, July 29 (Itar-Tass) - Direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks that has been stalled since October 2010 will be restarted in Washington on Monday, the U.S. State Department said.
The State Department announced Sunday that the two sides had accepted invitations from U.S. State Secretary John Kerry to come to Washington "to formally resume direct final status negotiations." Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement that the initial meetings “are planned for the evening of Monday July 29 and Tuesday July 30, 2013."
She said Kerry had called both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian 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."
"Both leaders have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point," Kerry said in the statement. "We are grateful for their leadership."
The Israelis will be represented by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and prime minister’s special envoy Yitzhak Molcho, and the Palestinians will be represented by Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh of FATH. "As Secretary Kerry announced on July 19 in Amman, Jordan, the Israelis and Palestinians had reached agreement on the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations," the statement said. "The meetings in Washington will mark the beginning of these talks."