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Geopolitics

Israel Releases Palestinian Prisoners Ahead Of Peace Talks In Washington

BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

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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