Posted by on September 02, 2010 in Blog

Today, direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were launched with trilateral talks at the State Department in Washington.  Reaffirming their hopes to reach an agreement within a year, the parties agreed to meet for direct talks every two weeks to discuss final status issues, including borders, settlements, Jerusalem, and the rights of Palestinian refugees.  Sitting between Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said, "I fervently believe that the two men sitting on either side of me, that you are the leaders who can make this long, cherished dream [of a just and lasting peace through a two-state solution] a reality."

US special Middle East envoy George Mitchell told reporters that the first meeting with the parties was “long and productive,” citing the “good faith” that both parties have committed themselves to. Speaking about the purpose of the talks, President Obama stated:

The goal is a settlement negotiated between the parties that ends the occupation which began in 1967, and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace and security with a Jewish state of Israel and its other neighbors.

To watch the full remarks of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Palestinian President Abbas, and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, click here.

To watch President Obama’s remarks on the negotiations, click here.