Palestinians, Israel form expert committees on peace talks issues

Palestinians, Israel form expert committees on peace talks issues
# 19 August 2013 21:44 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Palestinian and Israeli negotiators formed seven subcommittees to tackle outstanding final- status issues between the two sides, a Palestinian official said Monday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The formation of the committees comes weeks after the United States convinced the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table with Israel after a nearly three-year halt since 2010.

Each committee would deal with one of the outstanding issues, which include Jerusalem, borders, security, water, settlements, refugees and prisoners, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The committees, which comprise experts from the two sides, would meet regularly starting from Wednesday, with the issues of borders and security given the priority.

For the Palestinians, an agreement on the borders of the future state, which they demand to be on the territories that Israel has occupied in 1967, is a prelude to swiftly resolve the other issues.

American diplomats would participate in the meetings of the expert committees, the official added.

Senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will hold the third round of peace talks at the end of this week in the West Bank city of Jericho.

In the second round last week, the Palestinian side was upset at the Israeli decision to build new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, part of the lands that the Palestinians want for the future state.

On Sunday, the PLO's Executive Committee said that it doesn't accept the negotiations to serve as "a cover to implement the largest settlement project which turns the negotiations into a meaningless process."

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