The U.S. State Department revealed on Sunday for the first time that the U.S. envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian Authority talks had taken part in a meeting between the two parties since negotiations resumed in late July.
"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," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "As we have said in the past, we are not planning to read out the details of these meetings."
The State Department decided to make the disclosure regarding Israeli-Palestinian Authority negotiations after media attention about their course was overshadowed by the violent crackdown on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons against its people.
However, Psaki said in a written statement that "Israeli and Palestinian delegations have been meeting continuously since final status negotiations resumed on July 29."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry persuaded both sides to resume peace negotiations that had collapsed in 2010.
Israeli-Palestinian Authority negotiations have become a signature issue for Kerry, even as the United States tackles the issues in Egypt and the civil war in Syria.
John Kerry said on Sunday that the administration had new evidence that sarin gas was used in an attack by Syrian government forces that killed 1,400 people last month. “I can’t contemplate that Congress would turn its back on Israel and Jordan and the allies of the region,” said Kerry.