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US to Hold Israel, Palestinians 'Accountable' for any Undermining of Talks


US to Hold Israel, Palestinians 'Accountable' for any Undermining of Talks

US to Hold Israel, Palestinians 'Accountable' for any Undermining of Talks

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The Obama administration says it will hold Israel and the Palestinians accountable if they do anything to seriously undermine trust in a new series of indirect peace talks.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the two sides completed the first round of those talks Sunday, ending a 17-month break in negotiations. Crowley described the talks as serious and wide-ranging.

He said both Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank made commitments to create a positive atmosphere for the talks.

The State Department spokesman said Israel committed to no construction of a housing project for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood for two years. He said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas promised to act against incitement.

U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell mediated the first round of talks by shuttling between Israeli officials in Jerusalem and Palestinian officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He left Sunday to return to Washington but is expected to be back in the region in a week.

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