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Kerry says Israeli, Palestinian deal possible by end of April

Published on Dec 13, 2013 11:38 PM

TEL AVIV, Israel (REUTERS) - US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Israel and the Palestinians were still on schedule to reach a full Middle East peace deal by the end of April, and both sides were committed to the talks.

Speaking at the end of his second visit to the region in a week, Mr Kerry said the two sides were discussing a framework of core issues that lay at the heart of the decades-old conflict and would lead to the final status accord.

"Both parties remain committed to fulfilling their obligations to stay at the table and negotiate hard during the nine-month period that we set for that," Mr Kerry told reporters after separate talks with Palestinian and Israeli leaders.

"We're not talking at this point about any shifts (in the schedule," he said, alleviating Palestinian concerns that Israel would delay a planned release of Palestinian prisoners at the end of the year.

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