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July 29, 2013

Middle East peace talks resume [TIMELINE]

http://www.jewishjournal.com/israel/article/middle_east_peace_talks_resume_timeline

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo by Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo by Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Middle East peace talks, due to resume in Washington this week, have a long and mostly disappointing history. But while more than two decades of summits and negotiations have failed to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, some talks have come close and have left a template for future agreements.

Following is a timeline of major summits and conferences aimed at Israeli-Palestinian peace.

July 28, 2013 - After six trips by Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East in four months, the State Department announces that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been invited to Washington to resume peace talks.

Sept. 2, 2010 - U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton relaunch Middle East peace talks in Washington. "We've been here before and we know how difficult the road ahead will be," Clinton says during the opening session. Palestinians withdraw from the talks weeks later after Israel allows a moratorium on Jewish settlements in the West Bank to expire.

Nov. 27, 2007 - The United States convenes the Annapolis peace conference, in which Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas participate, along with Arab states and world powers. The goal is to reach a peace treaty by the end of 2008, but talks effectively end in late December 2008 when Israel, responding to repeated ceasefire violations by the Palestinian group Hamas, launches military operations in the Gaza Strip.

June 4, 2003 - Abbas, then Palestinian prime minister, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meet together with U.S. President George W. Bush in Aqaba, Jordan, to launch negotiations based on the U.S.-drafted "Road Map" for peace. Never implemented, the plan's conditions included an end to Palestinian violence against Israel and a halt in Jewish settlements.

January 2001 - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet in Taba, Egypt, to try to rescue peace talks following the failure of the Camp David summit. They make progress, but run out of time as U.S. President Bill Clinton's term comes to an end.

July 11-25, 2000 - At the Camp David Summit, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak deal directly with the core issues of the conflict, including territory and the status of Jerusalem. Arafat rejects U.S. compromise proposals. A new Palestinian uprising commences, accelerating after a September visit by hawkish Israeli politician Ariel Sharon to Jerusalem's Temple Mount, considered sacred to Muslims.

Oct. 15-23, 1998 - The United States attempts to revive the Oslo peace process during a summit at Wye River Plantation, Maryland. Netanyahu and Arafat agree to a plan that calls on Israel to withdraw from another 13 percent of the West Bank and the Palestinians to combat violence and collect illegal weapons caches. Much of the agreement is never implemented.

March 13, 1996 - President Clinton and other world leaders convene the "Summit of the Peacemakers" in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, aimed at shoring up the peace process in the face of deadly attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants.

Sept. 28, 1995 - Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin - who would be assassinated little more than a month later - and Arafat sign the "Oslo II" agreement in Washington.

Sept. 13, 1993 - On the White House South Lawn, Rabin and Arafat sign the historic Oslo Accord, in which Israelis and Palestinians acknowledge each other's right to exist. A Palestinian government, the Palestinian Authority, is born.

Oct. 30, 1991 - After the 1991 Gulf War, the United States convenes the Madrid Peace Conference, which launches the first public, direct talks between Israel and representatives of Jordan, Syria and the Palestinians. While there are few immediate concrete results, the conference breaks an important psychological barrier.

Writing by Warren Strobel; Editing by Eric Beech

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