WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry will head to the Middle East this week to continue talks on an elusive Mideast peace deal just as Israel is poised to announce plans to build more Jewish settlements.
Kerry is scheduled to leave on New Year’s Day for Israel and the Palestinian territories, where he will discuss ongoing negotiations with leaders from both sides, the State Department said in a statement Saturday.
The parties relaunched direct talks last summer with the goal of forging an accord within nine months.
The target date expires at the end of April, and while that is not considered a deadline to end talks, there has been little, if any, tangible sign of progress so far.
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