U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the imminent start of renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians on Monday, but urged both sides to approach them with honesty, AFP reported Monday evening.
"The most difficult work of these negotiations is ahead, and I am hopeful that both the Israelis and Palestinians will approach these talks in good
faith," he said.
Obama thanked his own top diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, for organizing the talks, which were to begin later Monday in Washington with an
initial exchange between top negotiators.
"I am pleased that Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu and [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas have accepted Secretary Kerry's invitation to formally resume direct final status negotiations and have sent senior negotiating teams to Washington for the first round of meetings," Obama said.
"This is a promising step forward, though hard work and hard choices remain ahead. The United States stands ready to support them throughout these
negotiations, with the goal of achieving two states, living side by side in peace and security."
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk has been chosen to shepherd the talks between the two sides.