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December 30, 2013

Kerry to Propose Outline for Mideast Peace Talks

by VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will propose a framework for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to reach a final status agreement when he travels to the Middle East this week.

U.S. Statement Department spokeswoman Marie Harf Monday said the framework aims to serve as a guideline to address all core issues between the two sides.  She said Kerry will discuss the proposal with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The spokeswoman would not give further details of the plan.

Israel and the Palestinians resumed peace talks in July after a three-year break.

During initial talks, Israel agreed to a prisoner release, with the latest group of prisoners expected to be freed Tuesday. The Palestinians dropped their demand for Israel to stop settlement construction before talks are held.  

Kerry leaves for Jerusalem on Wednesday and will proceed to Ramallah in the West Bank. The secretary has made a Middle East peace agreement a top foreign policy goal. He has made frequent trips to the region in the past year.op foreign policy goal. He has made frequent trips to the region in the past year.