Know More About Palestine

Wednesday Oct. 5, 2011 9:12 AM (EST+7)

WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Envoys from the Middle East Quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- will meet in Brussels on Sunday to try to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace, the State Department said.

The United States will be represented by David Hale, the U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace, who will also hold meetings in Berlin, Paris and London, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at her daily briefing.

Asked if the envoys would discuss Palestinian aid as well as their effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks frozen for the last year, Nuland said they were expected to discuss the full range of issues in front of them.

Direct peace talks collapsed a year ago after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend a limited moratorium on building Jewish settlements on land occupied by Israel in the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month submitted a formal application to the U.N. Security Council for membership in the United Nations, ignoring a U.S. threat to veto the measure if it is put to vote as well as threats from U.S. members of Congress to restrict U.S. aid to the Palestinians.

The United States and Israel argue that Palestinian statehood can come only through resuming direct peace talks and the Quartet on Sept. 23 called for preparatory talks to begin in 30 days with an eye to reaching a deal by the end of 2012.

Lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives have moved in recent weeks to freeze the flow of aid to the Palestinians that had been appropriated for fiscal year 2011. (Reporting by Andrew Quinn and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)






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