Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, told The New York Times that hopes for fulfilling a goal of last year's Middle East peace conference in the United States -- securing an agreement on the status of Jerusalem by the end of this year -- was not likely to be met.
"We will outline a methodology for an agreed framework on how to deal with Jerusalem in the future," Regev told the Times.
The newspaper also spoke to chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei, who said that while the two sides had agreed to begin work on a paper laying out their positions on the whole range of peace issues, there is nothing close to an agreement regarding Jerusalem, which, in turn, means all other issues are still on the table.
"If there is no Jerusalem, there will be no agreement," Qurei told the U.S. newspaper, adding that while the ongoing talks are important, the gaps between the two sides are "very, very wide."
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