06:25 GMT24 February 2020
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    The Quartet of mediators on the Middle East conflict will on December 13-14 meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials in a bid to revive the peace dialogue between them, Al Ayam website said on Saturday.

    The Quartet of mediators on the Middle East conflict will on December 13-14 meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials in a bid to revive the peace dialogue between them, Al Ayam website said on Saturday.

    The peace process has been stalled for more than a year, bedeviled by continuing Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories and by the Palestinians' bid for full membership of the United Nations.

    The Quartet, comprising the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States, resumed peace talks this September with an aim to bring the two sides to the negotiating table after bilateral talks stalled last year.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Friday prodded Israel to do more to reverse its deepening isolation in the Middle East, and suggested that Israeli leaders bear significant blame for a stalled peace process that he said "has been effectively put on hold."

    "Unfortunately, over the past year, we've seen Israel's isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow, and the pursuit of a comprehensive Middle East peace plan has effectively been put on hold," he said at a speech in Washington.

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