U.S. committed to resolving Israel-Palestine conflict by deadline - spokesman

U.S. committed to resolving Israel-Palestine conflict by deadline - spokesman

The United States is committed to meeting the deadline for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict within the remaining 11 months of one year's time, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Thursday.

"We're fully focused on returning to direct negotiations, addressing these hard issues, and meeting the deadline of one year, " Toner told a press briefing at the State Department.

In brokering direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine in early September in Washington, the Obama administration set an ambitious goal of resolving all the core issues within one year and making peace between the two decades-old rivals. The core issues include security, borders, refugees, the status of Jerusalem and water, Xinhua reported.

Yet direct negotiations have remained stalled since mid- September over Israel's refusal to extend a ban on settlement building in the occupied West Bank. The Arab League on Oct. 8 gave Washington one month to move the negotiations forward.

"We're not going to back away anytime soon from this process," Toner told reporters. "In fact, we're wholly committed to the direct negotiations. We're going to stick with our timeline. We're committed to in 11 months."

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