Israel

Palestinians, Israelis Play Down Possible Talks

Keeping expectations low helps prevent disappointment

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Israelis and Palestinians played down on Monday the prospects of their envoys meeting in Washington any time soon, and the White House said getting the two sides to agree a peace deal remained an "enormous challenge".

Palestinians said negotiations could not begin unless it was clear in advance that they would be about a future state based on pre-1967 borders, while an Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would seek the approval of his cabinet before going ahead.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, winding up months of intensive mediation, said on Friday that Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and his Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, would join him in Washington "to begin initial talks within the next week or so".