Jul 30 2013

Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Begin After Three Years

Feature Stories | Published 30 Jul 2013, 10:05 am | Comments Off on Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Begin After Three Years -

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Five months into his tenure as Secretary of State, John Kerry hosted what may have been the most important dinner of his political career – Israeli and Palestinian representatives of a new peace process broke bread last night ahead of the start of a 9 month long negotiating process fraught with all manner of likely pitfalls.

As a pre-condition of meeting, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas insisted on the release of more than a 100 Palestinian prisoners who have been languishing in Israeli prisons for decades. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to wrangle a favorable vote on it from his Cabinet despite public protests. At stake in the peace process are the borders of Israel and a new Palestinian state, the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes, and the fate of Jerusalem as an exclusively Israeli capital.

Secretary Kerry has named former US Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, as his chief negotiator in the process, saying he would personally step in only when needed.

GUEST: Diana Buttu, Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former Palestinian negotiator from 2000-2005

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