Middle East

Israel, Palestine Near Peace Talks

Here's President Obama's chance to earn that Nobel Peace Prize. According to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s spokesman, Israel and the Palestinians are close to resuming peace talks. “We think we are very, very close to a decision by the parties to enter into direct negotiations,” said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, adding that “there are details that are still being worked out.” The group known as the Quartet of powers—the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations—is aiming to organize talks in Washington, D.C., on September 2 in which Israelis and Palestinians would attend, a source told Reuters. The terms of the deal reportedly outline a 12-month negotiation time-frame, after which Palestinians would expect to have agreed upon their terms of statehood by mid-2011.