Quartet to Meet With Israelis, Palestinians in Order to Jump-start Negotiations

Announcement comes weeks after Palestinians agreed to resume talks with Israel on the condition that it freezes all settlement activity and accepts clear frames of reference for the talks.

Envoys of the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials on Nov. 14 in Jerusalem, their latest effort to jump-start the stalled peace process, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

"We expect these will again be Quartet envoy meetings with the parties separately," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news briefing, saying the meetings would seek to encourage both sides to offer concrete proposals on land and security concerns.

Middle East Quartet Representative Tony Blair, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Jonas Gahr Store at press conference in Brussels on April 13, 2011.AP

The Quartet is made up of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

The announcement comes weeks after Palestinians agreed to resume talks with Israel on the condition that it freezes all settlement activity and accepts clear frames of reference for the talks.

"These are not favors that Israel is doing for us. These are its obligations in accordance with international law," said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in a statement issued after he met in with representatives of the Mideast Quartet in Jerusalem in late October.
"We have no problem with dialogue, but it must be meaningful," Erekat said.