Envoys of the Middle East Quartet will meet separately in Jerusalem on October 26 with Israeli and Palestinian representatives Jerusalem to try to revive direct peace talks that fell apart more than a year ago, the U.S. State Department said Monday.
“The Quartet envoys will be meeting with the parties in Jerusalem on Oct. 26 ... with the aim to begin preparations and develop an agenda for proceeding in the negotiations,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters
The Quartet – comprised of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States – launched an effort on September 23 to restart suspended peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Its proposal called for resuming talks within a month and reaching a peace agreement in a year.
Israelis and the Palestinians responded favorably, but their reactions to it suggested they have opposing interpretations of the initiative.
The Quartet has taken a lead in the effort to resume peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that collapsed more than a year ago over the issue of Israeli construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The last round ended after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month limited moratorium on settlement construction, something Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had demanded to continue negotiations.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Sunday accused Israel of undermining peace efforts by deciding to build a new settlement in annexed East Jerusalem.