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John Kerry Hosts A Peace-Themed Dinner Party For Israel & Palestine

  • World
  • 07.31.13 07:36 AM EDT

The chaos in Syria, Egypt and elsewhere these last few months has distracted from another, long-term nexus of Mid East instability: Israel and Palestine. But Secretary of State John Kerry has been quietly making trip after trip to restart the peace talk process -- efforts that seem to be finally paying some dividends. 

The State Department announced that both sides have accepted an invitation to come to Washington for talks, beginning tonight and continuing into Tuesday. Representatives are meeting at John Kerry's Washington residency for an Iftar dinner, the Muslim meal that breaks the Ramadan fast. 

"Both leaders have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point," John Kerry said in a statement. "We are grateful for their leadership."

Earlier this month, Israel agreed to release more than 100 Palestinian prisoners, which had been a major barrier to the talks recommencing.