Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to announce Friday that Israel and the Palestinians will return to direct negotiations for the first time in 20 months, delivering the Obama administration a small victory in its protracted effort to revive the Middle East peace process, two officials briefed on the situation said Thursday evening.
The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, have agreed to place a one-year time limit on the talks, these officials said.
President Obama is expected to invite both leaders to Washington in early September to start the negotiations, which will cover thorny issues like the borders of a new Palestinian state, the political status of Jerusalem, security guarantees for Israel and right of return for Palestinian refugees.
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