US official smooths over breakdown of Israel-Palestinian talks

A senior US State Department official said Wednesday "Both Israel and the Palestinians have taken unhelpful steps over the last 24 hours. But neither party has given any indication…that they want to end the negotiations." The official’s even-handed statement was issued in Brussels, where US Secretary Kerry is attending meetings. Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in defiance of his commitments, Tuesday submitted applications to join 15 UN agencies and conventions. The Arab League has scheduled an emergency session for next week to discuss the breakdown of yet another US effort to forge an accord between Israel and the Palestinians.  

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