State Dept. says pushing for renewed peace negotiations

WASHINGTON – The US State Department said that it sees an opportunity to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table as the Quartet consulted again on Thursday in attempt to make progress in the stalled peace process.

“We continue to discuss with our partners ways to get the parties back to the negotiating table,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said of Thursday’s conference call between the US, EU, UN and Russia. “There are still gaps between them and we’re continuing the conversation on how to close those gaps.”

“We wouldn’t be pushing forward as aggressively as we have been if we didn’t believe there was an opportunity here,” he stressed, referring to the possibility of the sides resuming negotiations.

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