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Palestinian, Israeli negotiators to meet in effort to extend peace talks

Palestinian, Israeli negotiators to meet in effort to extend peace talks

PanARMENIAN.Net - Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are due to meet on Wednesday, April 16, in an effort to extend peace talks beyond the April 29 deadline, the U.S. said, according to BBC News.

The U.S. State Department said "a range of issues" would be discussed but the parties "remain highly engaged".

Talks appeared on the verge of collapse earlier this month amid a series of disputes between the two sides.

Peace negotiations were kickstarted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last July after a three-year hiatus.

"The parties are working right now on an agreement to extend the negotiations... past April 29," state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. "Both parties tell us they want negotiations to continue and they're searching for a path to do just that."

The talks hit a major crisis this month when both sides took what Washington called "unhelpful steps". The Palestinians launched moves to join 15 UN treaties and bodies, while Israel refused to release a tranche of Palestinian prisoners and unveiled plans for more settler homes in east Jerusalem.

Israel is also angry at the killing of an off-duty Israeli policeman in the occupied West Bank on Monday on the eve of the Passover Jewish holiday. The officer's wife and child were wounded.

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"The necessary funds are and will continue being allocated, including those for the purchase of new modern weapons," he said.
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