US envoy Hale set to arrive in J'lem for talks

Quartet representatives and Hale will hold separate talks with Israeli, Palestinian officials, State Department says.

US special envoy David Hale meets Abbas 311 (R) (photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
US special envoy David Hale meets Abbas 311 (R)
(photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
US special envoy David Hale was scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem Wednesday for separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials before traveling to Cairo and Paris, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Friday.
"I can confirm that on December 14, we expect another round of meetings, Quartet envoys, with the Israelis and with Palestinian representatives," Nuland said.
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The State Department spokeswoman added that the moves are intended to further the US "effort to get the two parties to put forward concrete proposals and to agree to come back to the table together."
Last week, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said both the US and the Quartet expect Israel and the Palestinians to meet in direct negotiations and exchange comprehensive proposals on issues of security and territory.
His comments were significant because the Palestinians have said in recent days that while they have presented the Quartet – consisting of the US, EU, UN and Russia – with comprehensive proposals, Israel has refused to do so, creating the impression that Israel is obstructing the process.
Israel’s position is that the comprehensive proposals that the Quartet discussed in September when it drew up a new framework for trying to bring the sides back to the table are to come out of negotiations between the sides, and not as result of the Quartet mediating between them.
Hale was scheduled to hold separate meetings with Israelis and Palestinians.
Shapiro’s comments appear to support Israel’s interpretation.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.