Foreign Secretary William Hague has welcomed the resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and the agreement to begin formal negotiations on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Speaking following US Secretary Kerry’s press conference in Washington, the Foreign Secretary said:
I warmly welcome the resumption of direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Washington. I congratulate US Secretary of State John Kerry for his successful efforts which have led to today’s agreement to begin formal negotiations in two weeks’ time, with a view to resolving all final status issues. I also welcome the appointment of Martin Indyk as US Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.
The resumption of talks has been possible because of the courageous leadership already shown by Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas, as well as the commitment of negotiators on both sides. Determined leadership from the United States has also been critical and will remain so in the months to come.
As President Obama and Secretary Kerry have set out, hard work and difficult choices lie ahead. We do not underestimate the challenges but firmly believe that if both parties continue to show bold leadership, peace is possible. It is also urgent: 2013 must be the decisive year for peace. Britain will do all it can to support the Israelis, Palestinians and the United States to achieve a two-state solution and the lasting peace that the people of the region deserve.
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