US says Israeli-Palestinian talks to start Monday

WASHINGTON — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume long-stalled direct peace talks on Monday following six months of frenetic shuttle diplomacy by Secretary of State John Kerry.

The State Department announced Sunday that the two sides had accepted invitations from Kerry to come to Washington “to formally resume direct final status negotiations.” In a statement, department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the initial meetings would begin Monday evening and continue Tuesday.

She said Kerry had called both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday and said they agreed that the talks would “serve as an opportunity to develop a procedural work plan for how the parties can proceed with the negotiations in the coming months.”

“Both leaders have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point,” Kerry said in the statement. “We are grateful for their leadership.”

Kerry had announced on July 19 in Amman, Jordan, that negotiators from the two sides would be coming to Washington in a “week or so” after having agreed on a basis for resuming negotiations after a five-year break. However, he warned that the agreement was still being formalized.

Sunday’s carefully worded statement offered no details of the framework for the resumption of the talks that broke down five years ago, although both sides’ positions are well known.

The statement was released shortly after the Israeli Cabinet agreed to release 104 long-term Palestinian prisoners convicted of deadly attacks, meeting a longstanding Palestinian demand.

More in Local News

A wobbly calf grows into a 1,800-pound Lake Stevens behemoth

A shaggy and sometimes cranky bison is the last of his herd. He lives amid encroaching suburbia.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Officials ID man shot and killed in apparent Everett robbery

Police believe the victim may have known the shooter, who drove away before the officers arrived.

Man, 60, in critical condition after Bothell crash

Police believe the driver may have been speeding when he hit a rock wall.

Missing Marysville woman found safe out of state

A Marysville senior who was reported missing in March has… Continue reading

FBI operation arrests 3 linked to exploitation of 32 women

The sting focused on Everett and other cities in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties.

Front Porch

EVENTS Seahawks event postponed A Toys for Tots Blue Friday fundraiser that… Continue reading

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Most Read