Egypt to host 2nd round of direct Israel-PA talks in Sharm el-Sheikh

The next round of direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be held at the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on 14 September, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki announced on Sunday.

Zaki went on to say that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would meet for the second round of talks with the participation of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Face-to-face negotiations between Abbas and Netanyahu officially kicked off in Washington last Thursday. The first round of talks was attended by US President Barack Obama, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II.

Earlier this month, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa announced that the league committee mandated with following up the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative may soon convene in anticipation of the failure of the current negotiations. Moussa said he had "little hope" for the talks' successful outcome.

"It's very likely these negotiations will end before they even begin," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said last week.

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