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Israeli Peace Envoy: Government Prepared to Make 'Dramatic Decisions'

  • VOA News

FILE - Israel's chief negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni listens to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speak to the press with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat at the State Department in Washington, D.C., July 30, 2013.

FILE - Israel's chief negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni listens to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speak to the press with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat at the State Department in Washington, D.C., July 30, 2013.

Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni says her government is prepared to make "dramatic decisions" to reach a final peace accord with the Palestinians.

Livni spoke Tuesday in Jerusalem, ahead of a third round of negotiations with Palestinian peace envoys. She also warned that hardline elements within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government remain opposed to the goal set by Washington to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Palestinian officials late Tuesday said the third round of talks had ended. Both sides have agreed with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry not to disclose details of their deliberations.

Kerry brought the two sides together for a preliminary meeting in Washington in late July, after months of shuttle diplomacy.

Israeli chief negotiator Livni and her Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erekat held a second meeting in Jerusalem last week, without U.S. mediation.

Livni, the centrist justice minister in the Netanyahu Cabinet, accused ultranationalist members of Israel's coalition government of making the negotiations more difficult by opposing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - something she supports. Her comment was seen as a reference to the Jewish Home party of ultranationalist Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.

Bennett responded to Livni's comment on Facebook, telling her to "get over it."

Netanyahu and Abbas have pledged to try to resolve all core issues of the conflict.

Those include rival sovereignty claims over Jerusalem, the fate of refugees of Arab-Israeli wars, the final borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state, and the presence of Jewish settlements on occupied West Bank land that the Palestinians claim for their state.
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