Direct Middle East talks near

Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is ready to talk

Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is ready to talk

It could be just days before direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians take place.

The United States government and the Quartet have been working on the details for some time now and are believed to be very close to agreeing on a timetable for direct talks.

Last week Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United States Middle East envoy George Mitchell that it was time “to get on with it”.

He has repeatedly said Israel is ready to come to the negotiating table but Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has rejected direct talks without a full freeze on construction in the settlements.

The State department in Washington will issue a statement revealing the details of the negotiations soon.

Last updated: 9:45am, September 1 2010