Indyk joined one peace talk session

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Martin Indyk, the U.S. envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, attended one of the negotiating sessions, according to the State Departmen. The Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams met Aug. 31 and Sept. 3 in Jerusalem. The Palestinians had said last week that Indyk had not attended any of the sessions.

“Israeli and Palestinian delegations have been meeting continuously since final status negotiations resumed on July 29,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Sept. 1 in a statement, according to Israeli media reports. “The negotiations have been serious, and U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk and his team have been fully briefed on the bilateral talks and also participated in a bilateral negotiating session.”

The peace talks have been under a nearly total media blackout, reportedly at the request of Secretary of State John Kerry.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told his Fatah party officials on Sept. 2 that the Palestinians are negotiating with Israel for a state on the pre-1967 lines with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, which he called a “red line,” Israel Radio reported.

Abbas also said the Palestinian Authority agreed not to seek statehood from and membership in international organizations in exchange for the release of 104 prisoners held in Israeli jails. He said negotiators will ask for the release of about 250 other prisoners, as well.

Fatah official Nabil Shaath told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency on Sept. 2 that the peace talks have not made any progress, and that the Israeli side has not presented any new suggestions or proposals. He said the PA could turn to international organizations if negotiations do not bear fruit. — jta