Netanyahu says peace talks soon

Israel plans to hold direct peace talks with the Palestinians by late September, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet.

Netanyahu, who met this week in London with U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell, said that talks held in preparation for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks have been held in a “positive atmosphere with certain progress, though without definitive agreements.”

However, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters, “Despite giving everything, we were unable to strike peace 16 years after Oslo. I’m willing to bet there won’t be peace 16 years from now either, certainly not one based on the two-state solution,” he said. — jta