Quartet makes no headway on Middle East

July 12, 2011 at 2:41 AM

WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- Middle East Quartet representatives made no discernible progress Monday night toward finding a way to get peace talks back on track, a U.S. official said.

"There are still gaps that are impeding progress," a senior Obama administration official told reporters after the 2-hour meeting in Washington. "More work needs to be done to close those gaps before the quartet can go forth publicly with the kinds of statements that might enable the parties to break through the impasse."

The diplomats for the United States, Russia, European Union and the United Nations will resume their talks in Washington Tuesday, Financial Times reported.

The quartet representatives are trying to come up with a way to broker a two-state peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians even as some Palestinian leaders are pressing unilaterally for United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state as early as September.

In May, U.S. President Barack Obama suggested territorial boundaries be drawn as they were before the Six Day War in 1967 with associated land swaps forming the starting point for talks. The Israeli government has refused to consider those borders, calling them indefensible.

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