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WASHINGTON - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume peace talks in Washington on Monday, the U.S. State Department has announced.

The talks, stalled since 2010, follow months of shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The statement came hours after Israel approved the release of more than 100 Palestinian prisoners. The release - which split the Israeli cabinet - is to take place in stages over several months.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the initial talks would begin on Monday evening and continue on Tuesday.

She said Mr Kerry had called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday and they had 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".

The Israeli delegation will be led by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, while chief negotiator Saeb Erekat will represent the Palestinian side.

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Kerry and Netanyahu in Tel-Aviv - Photo : U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

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Economy

Europe's Winter Energy Crisis Has Already Begun

in the face of Russia's stranglehold over supplies, the European Commission has proposed support packages and price caps. But across Europe, fears about the cost of living are spreading – and with it, doubts about support for Ukraine.

Protesters on Thursday in the German state of Thuringia carried Russian flags and signs: 'First our country! Life must be affordable.'

Martin Schutt/dpa via ZUMA
Stefanie Bolzen, Philipp Fritz, Virginia Kirst, Martina Meister, Mandoline Rutkowski, Stefan Schocher, Claus, Christian Malzahn and Nikolaus Doll

-Analysis-

In her State of the Union address on September 14, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, issued an urgent appeal for solidarity between EU member states in tackling the energy crisis, and towards Ukraine. Von der Leyen need only look out her window to see that tensions are growing in capital cities across Europe due to the sharp rise in energy prices.

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In the Czech Republic, people are already taking to the streets, while opposition politicians elsewhere are looking to score points — and some countries' support for Ukraine may start to buckle.

With winter approaching, Europe is facing a true test of both its mettle, and imagination.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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