Efforts under way to renew peace talks

April 2, 2012 at 7:32 AM
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JERUSALEM, April 2 (UPI) -- Quartet envoy Tony Blair met with Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers with the aim of renewing peace talks between the sides, an Israeli official said.

An unnamed Israeli official told The Jerusalem Post on Monday Israel is keen to resume peace talks with the Palestinians and said there was " diplomatic work going on behind the scenes" to get the talks restarted.

The official said Blair met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad separately on Sunday.

The official said Blair has been "in and out" of Netanyahu's office a number of times in recent weeks.

On Monday, Blair is scheduled to hold meetings in Jordan and on Tuesday U.S. Middle East envoy David Hale will meet with Blair in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the paper said.

The Quarter is scheduled to attend a meeting in Washington on April 11 to discuss ways of renewing peace talks between the sides.

Last September the Quartet met at the U.N. and issued guidelines for renewing negotiations aimed at reaching an accord by the end of 2012. Those guidelines have so far led nowhere, the paper said.

The Quartet is comprised of the United Nations, the United States., European Union and Russia and was formed to mediate the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

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