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July 29, 2013

Kerry names Indyk to shepherd Mideast talks

WASHINGTON — — Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday appointed a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, to shepherd Israeli-Palestinian peace talk as senior negotiators from the two sides prepared to sit down together for the first time in years.

Urging the parties to reach “reasonable compromises on tough, complicated, emotional and symbolic issues,” Kerry acknowledged that the path ahead would be long and difficult, a sentiment echoed by President Barack Obama.

“This is a promising step forward, though hard work and hard choices remain ahead,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

“I know the negotiations are going to be tough, but I also know that the consequences of not trying could be worse,” Kerry said.

But Obama and Kerry both said Indyk had the respect and confidence of all involved and that his vast experience in Middle East diplomacy could only help what will surely be a protracted process. The sides have agreed to negotiate for at least nine months, officials said.

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