Washington (QHA) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Israel and the Palestinians will meet soon in Washington to finalize an agreement on relaunching peace negotiations for the first time in five years.
Kerry formally invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to send their negotiating teams to Washington, reports UPI.
"Both leaders have demonstrated willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point," Kerry said in a statement. "We are grateful for their leadership."
The sides will meet Monday at an Iftar dinner, the evening meal during Holy Ramadan. The somewhat informal dinner will be hosted by Kerry, who has made an intensive effort to revive the moribund talks.
Abbas and his leadership agreed to return to the negotiating table after Israeli Cabinet voted to release the 104 prisoners from the West Bank and Gaza who were viewed by Israelis as terrorists.
Anyway, the Israeli Cabinet also approved Netanyahu's call for a national referendum that would allow voters to approve or reject any peace deal he makes.
It should be noted Kerry is expected to release a statement announcing the start of full negotiations, with the next round of talks expected to be in the Middle East.