| GEO World|
Israeli-Palestinian talks to resume
| Updated at: 1142 PST, Saturday, August 21, 2010|
WASHINGTON: Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians will resume next month after both sides accepted formal invitations from the United States to hold their first face-to-face negotiations for almost two years.
The quartet of Middle East peace negotiators - the UN, Russia, the EU and the US - said on Friday it had invited the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to attend direct talks in Washington on September 2.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, confirmed in a statement that the talks would be attended by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Tony Blair, the quartet representative, will also be present for parts of the negotiations.
Israel and the Palestinian leadership said that they had accepted the invitation, paving the way for talks that looked unlikely given the political deadlock between the two sides.
Clinton said on Friday that the talks will be held without preconditions and will run for a year with a view to creating a separate Palestinian state.
"There have been difficulties in the past. There will be difficulties ahead. Without a doubt, we will hit more obstacles. The enemies of peace will keep trying to defeat us and derail these talks," she said.