The Washington Times - July 22, 2013, 01:52PM

The White House reiterated Monday that the Obama administration is trying to set up a meeting between Israelis and Palestinians in Washington within the next few weeks to restart peace talks.

“We are working on a date for the parties to come to Washington in the coming weeks to move that process along,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said. “This is an enormous challenge. The president believes that it’s an essential thing to do, to try to bring the parties together in direct negotiations.”

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Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Friday in Jordan that he had brokered a preliminary deal to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, reviving negotiations that broke off in 2010. He said he hoped to arrange for negotiators to meet in Washington “within the next week or so.”

“We don’t have a date certain on that yet,” Mr. Carney said Monday. “We are obligated to engage in this effort.”