Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to meet next week, official says
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are to meet in Jordan again next week, officials close to the talks said Wednesday, a day after Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh announced that the sides are to hold a "series of talks dpa reported
Judeh made his announcement after Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Amman, in their first public face-to-face meeting in nearly 16 months.
The talks - a last-ditch effort by international mediators to get the sides to renew negotiations before an end-of-month deadline - were "positive," the Jordanian Foreign Minister said.
His announcement of continued talks came as a surprise, after Israeli and Palestinian officials had voiced deep pessimism ahead of the meeting.
The Quartet of Middle East mediators - the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia - issued a proposal in September for negotiations, under which the talks should have been relaunched within a month. The sides were to have made significant progress on two issues - borders and security - by January 26.
Instead, the Israelis and Palestinians remained at a stalemate, with Israel insisting on direct negotiations without preconditions, while the Palestinians first demanded a settlement freeze.