Mideast envoys' U.S. meeting would launch peace talks: U.S. official

AMMAN Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:09pm EDT

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AMMAN (Reuters) - A meeting of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Washington expected in the near future would in effect mark the resumption of peace talks, a U.S. official said on Friday.

The official spoke after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that a basis for new Israeli-Palestinian negotiations had been agreed and that the sides would send top negotiators to the U.S. capital "within the next week or so".

Asked whether participation in the Washington talks would be considered the start of negotiations, the official said:

"That would be the start of direct talks between the parties. Yes."

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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