July 29, Washington DC -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) welcomes today's scheduled resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for the first time since 2010. The Task Force expresses its appreciation for Secretary of State John Kerry’s leadership in helping to broker the negotiations. ATFP also complements the courage of the Palestinian and Israeli leaderships in being willing to take the bold step of resuming direct talks.
The Task Force notes that negotiations will be long, complicated and difficult. But they must continue despite any obstacles. They should also proceed with a clearheaded anticipation of actions by opponents of peace on both sides to attempt to sabotage progress, both through political and, possibly, violent means.
The Task Force calls for immediate measures by all parties, including Israel, to improve living conditions on the ground, particularly for Palestinians in the occupied territories. This can help protect the process from diplomatic and political variables, and manage expectations. ATFP urges the preservation and expansion of institution-building, economic development, government reform and anti-corruption measures by Palestinians, with oversight, accountability and transparency, and strong international support.
ATFP Pres. Ziad J. Asali said, "We welcome the resumption of talks and express our sincere gratitude to Sec. Kerry for his tireless efforts to revive them. The United States remains the indispensable partner for peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike. The resumption of these negotiations, and their eventual successful conclusion in a two-state agreement, is essential to the American national interest."
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