Israeli and the Palestinian negotiators will sit down to peace talks in Washington on Monday, picking up from where they left off five years ago, the State Department says.
Secretary of State John Kerry has personally extended an invitation to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to send senior negotiating teams to the U.S. capital "to formally resume direct final status negotiations," spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
President Obama has nominated Caroline Kennedy to serve as the United States' ambassador to Japan.
NPR's Mara Liasson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The daughter of President John F. Kennedy and an early and significant supporter of President Obama's, Kennedy is also an attorney and the author of several best-selling books. If confirmed she would fit a tradition for the Japan post — where many other prominent Americans have served. But she would be the first female ambassador to Japan.
Nothing ever seems to come easy in the Middle East, but Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that there was "a basis" for a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which would be the first such talks in several years.
Kerry made the announcement in Amman, Jordan, after a series of discussions with Palestinian and Arab leaders.
"We have reached an agreement that establishes the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis," Kerry said. "This is a significant and welcome step forward."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a last-minute trip to the West Bank this morning that's intended to jump-start stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
The trip comes just hours after the Palestinians said they would not return to the negotiating table unless Israel agreed to begin talks using the borders that existed before 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.