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Israelis, Palestinians to Meet to Salvage Peace Effort


Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are set to meet in Jordan for talks aimed at restarting the stalled peace process.

The meeting Tuesday will be their first in more than a year, since the negotiations fell apart over the issue of Israeli settlement construction.

Both sides say they are ready to re-open a dialogue, but optimism is low and their positions on the settlement issue remain unchanged. The Palestinians are demanding that Israel halt all construction, and Israel has refused.

The meeting at the Jordanian Foreign Ministry will bring together Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, his Israeli counterpart Yitzhak Molcho, and representatives of the Quartet of Middle East mediators.

The quartet, the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, has given Israel and the Palestinian Authority until January 26 to submit proposals on territory and security that would clear the way for the resumption of talks.

Palestinians officials say that without a breakthrough on negotiations, they will turn to alternative measures.

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