Kerry to meet Palestinian negotiators

2014-09-03 05:00
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference. (Kevin Lamarque, AP, Pool)

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference. (Kevin Lamarque, AP, Pool)

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Washington - US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Palestinian negotiators on Wednesday in Washington to discuss the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and other issues, the State Department said.

Kerry was also expected to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by telephone on Tuesday before meeting Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

The fresh talks - Kerry's first face-to-face meeting with the Palestinians since late July - comes as the Palestinians say they will put forward a resolution later this month to the United Nations to set a three-year deadline for the end of the Israeli occupation of their territories.

"I think they'll talk about a range of issues. There's obviously an ongoing ceasefire discussion and upcoming negotiations that will take place. There's a range of longer-term issues," Psaki said on Tuesday without going into detail.

More than 2 100 Palestinians were killed in Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip coastal territory, nearly 70% of them civilians, which ended after 50 days last week with an open-ended ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, brokered by Egypt.

The two sides are supposed to meet soon for negotiations on a long-term truce, but no date has been announced yet for the start of the talks.

Kerry last met Palestinian leaders in late July when he sought in vain to mediate a truce.

His bid to reach a comprehensive peace deal collapsed spectacularly in April amid bitter recriminations among both sides.

Read more on:    john kerry  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  palestine  |  us  |  middle east peace

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