Middle East envoy resigns after peace talks collapse in Israel

Martin Indyk, who as the United States’ Middle East envoy had been tasked with overseeing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, resigned Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced in a statement.

Indyk's resignation doesn’t come as a surprise, since he returned to the U.S. in April after talks collapsed.

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Kerry had appointed Indyk as his special envoy for peace talks nearly a year ago, when he first kick-started direct negotiations. The U.S. was unable to help strike a final status agreement by the April 29 deadline, officials said, because both the Israelis and Palestinians took unhelpful steps.

Indyk will return to the Brookings Institution as vice president and director of foreign policy. He will continue to work closely with Kerry on the Obama administration’s efforts to bridge a peace deal, the State Department said. 

“Ambassador Indyk has invested decades of his extraordinary career to the mission of helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a lasting peace. It's the cause of Martin's career, and I'm grateful for the wisdom and insight he's brought to our collective efforts," Kerry said. 

Under President Clinton, Indyk served as U.S. ambassador to Israel, assistant secretary of State for Near East affairs and as special assistant to the president and senior director for Near East and South Asia on the National Security Council. 

Frank Lowenstein will now serve as the acting special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the department said. Lowenstein had been serving as deputy special envoy.