Israeli, Palestinian envoys to be in Washington for indirect talks this week
The U.S. State Department said on Monday that Israeli and Palestinian envoys will come to Washington for indirect talks on the Middle East peace process later this week, Xinhua reported.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said that "toward the end of this week," chief negotiators from both sides, Yitzhak Molcho and Saeb Erekat, will come to Washington to meet separately with U.S. officials.
The indirect talks serve "as part of our ongoing consultations with the parties at the working level to achieve a framework agreement on all core issues," he said, adding that George Mitchell, the U.S. Middle East special envoy, is expected to take part in those meetings.
Last month, the United States announced it would give up efforts to push Israel to extend moratorium on West Bank settlement activities, which means the Israeli-Palestinian direct talks were, in fact, suspended. Instead, the United States said it will arrange indirect talks between the two sides in the future.
The current status of the Middle East peace process is brought back to the one before Sept. 2 when Israel and the Palestinians resumed direct talks in Washington under U.S. brokering. Experts and media are generally pessimistic about the Obama administration 's goal to get the two parties to resolve all core issues of the conflict by August this year.