Envoys of the Middle East Quartet will meet separately in Jerusalem on October 26 with Israeli and Palestinian representatives, the State Department said Monday.
"Quartet envoys will be meeting with the parties in Jerusalem on October 26," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, adding that separate meetings would be held.
The Quartet – made up of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia – launched an effort on September 23 to restart suspended peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Mideast Quartet (Photo: AP)
Its proposal called for resuming talks within a month and reaching a peace agreement in a year.
Israelis and the Palestinians responded favorably, but their reactions to it suggested they have opposing interpretations of the initiative.
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton on Sunday accused Israel
of undermining peace efforts by deciding to build a new settlement
in east Jerusalem.
Last week, Ashton welcomed the prisoner exchange deal
signed between Israel and Hamas, slated to take place on Tuesday.
"I warmly welcome the news that Gilad Shalit will soon be able to return home after over five years of captivity, putting an end to the long ordeal that he and his family have endured," Ashton said in a statement.
"I pay tribute to the work of all those who have worked tirelessly to secure his release, and in particular the Egyptian and German negotiators," she added.