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Quartet, Israel, Palestinians poised for direct peace talks

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Quartet, Israel, Palestinians poised for direct peace talks

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September 2 will see Israel and the Palestinians start direct peace talks in Washington, a diplomatic source says.

The United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations — known as the Quartet in the framework of the Middle East peace process — have been discussing a draft statement inviting the two sides to talks intended to conclude a treaty in one year.

The Israelis and Palestinians are said to be expected to agree to attend, with President Obama also present.

The Palestinian Authority government intends to have established all the attributes of statehood by mid-2011.

Israel insists it is ready for direct talks provided there are no preconditions.

The Palestinians are ready provided there is a clear agenda.

Obama wants face-to-face talks started well before Sept. 26, when Israel’s 10-month moratorium on Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank is due to end.