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Israeli peace negotiator offers optimism on talks

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 13, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

— Israel's chief peace negotiator said she is optimistic that negotiations with the Palestinians will be revived and extended past a looming April 29 deadline.

Tzipi Livni told the Israeli news site Ynet on Sunday that she believes the sides are "close enough" to resolving their differences and continuing the talks.

Negotiations have reached the brink of collapse in recent weeks after Israel failed to carry out a promised release of Palestinian prisoners. The Palestinians responded by reviving a campaign for recognition in international bodies, triggering a series of Israeli sanctions.

Livni and her Palestinian counterpart, Saeb Erekat, have been meeting in recent days with American mediators, trying to salvage the talks.

Erekat was not immediately available to comment, but has said in recent days the gaps are still wide.

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