Kerry finalizes Middle East peace talks team
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
US Secretary of State Kerry (L) meets with Palestinian President in Ramallah. Kerry has finalized his team to help shepherd Mideast talks. Reuters photoSecretary of State John Kerry is finalizing his team to help shepherd Middle East peace talks and take on the heavy lifting on a day to day basis, a U.S. official said on July 22.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki would neither confirm nor deny reports that a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, has been chosen to head up the American negotiating team. In Amman on July 19 Kerry announced that Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed in principle to return to talks that have been frozen for three years.
Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and her Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erakat are due to travel to Washington in the coming days to start the talks. “This is the first time in years the official negotiators for both sides have publicly agreed to meet at this level,” Psaki told reporters. But she could not give a precise date for the resumption of talks, saying U.S. officials had been “in touch with both parties over the course of the last couple of days.”
Label Israeli settler goods: Ashton
Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is pushing for comprehensive guidelines to introduce separate labeling for products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The guidelines forbid the 28 members of the bloc from funding or dealing with Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.