By Meghashyam Mali - 07/28/13 11:23 PM EDT
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume peace talks on Monday in Washington, the State Department announced.
“Secretary Kerry spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and personally extended an invitation to send senior negotiating teams to Washington to formally resume direct final status negotiations,” said State spokesperson Jen Psaki in a statement on Sunday.
“They will serve as an opportunity to develop a procedural workplan for how the parties can proceed with the negotiations in the coming months,” she added.
The meetings represent the culmination of weeks of shuttle diplomacy as Kerry sought to revive talks dormant since 2010 because of differences over Israeli settlements and the borders of a future Palestinian state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week said he saw the “resumption of the diplomatic process at this time as a vital strategic interest of the State of Israel” and thanked Kerry for brokering the new round of negotiations.
Kerry on Sunday praised both Netanyahu and Abbas for returning to the table.
“Both leaders have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point,” said Kerry in a statement. “We are grateful for their leadership.”