US State Department Urges on Middle East Peace Talks, Creates New Religious Outreach Office

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Interfaith leaders offered prayers and support as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators came to Washington this week to open the first Middle East peace talks in years. State Department officials say they will negotiate for at least nine months. There are many tough issues on the table, including Jewish settlements, the return of Palestinian refugees, and the status of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the State Department has just launched a project that could help. Christian ethicist and Wesley Theological Seminary professor Shaun Casey is heading a new office that will try to engage religious leaders and the faith community in US foreign policy.