U.S. says Israel, Palestine ready to extend peace talks
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas submitted applications this month for Palestine to join 15 UN bodies and treaties in response to Israel's failure to release the fourth and final group of Palestinian prisoners (File Archive/AFP)
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Agence France Presse reported late Tuesday that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are in process to extend the crumbling peace process beyond the April 29 deadline, according to U.S. officials.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told AFP that "The parties are working right now on an agreement to extend the negotiations, and that means extending the negotiations past April 29. There are naturally a range of issues being discussed. There are steps that both parties would need to take in order to improve the conditions for peace but the parties remain highly engaged."
The statement Tuesday refutes the many rumors that the talks would be ending in stalemate-even before the April 29 deadline. However it is not yet clear if the U.S. envoy to the talks Martin Indyk is also involved in the process.
Palestinian leadership recently submitted applications to join 15 UN treaties and bodies in response to Israel's refusal to release a fourth and final group of prisoners as agreed to under the peace talk conditions; the former move also violates the conditions.
"Both parties tell us they want negotiations to continue and they're searching for a path to do just that," Psaki told reporters.
"The Israeli and the Palestinian people deserve a two-state solution where parties are living side by side and they have the economic opportunity and the security that they deserve.That's why the parties remain committed and why they're working so hard on extending negotiations," added Psaki.
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