U.S. hopes for 'framework' Mideast peace deal within weeks

U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Indyk checks mobile phone while waiting for U.S. Secretary of State Kerry to board his plane at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel AvivBy Matt Spetalnick and Lesley Wroughton WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration hopes to complete a “framework” accord in coming weeks between Israel and the Palestinians and will then seek to negotiate a final peace deal by the end of 2014, the U.S. mediator told American Jewish leaders. Martin Indyk, the U.S. envoy seeking to defy widespread skepticism over the peace effort, said the framework would address core issues in the conflict, including borders, security, refugees and Jewish settlements, according to a participant in Thursday’s briefing. However, it would remain vague on the future status of Jerusalem, the participant said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, which includes pro-settler parties, has already shown signs of strain over talks on Palestinian statehood.

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