Jerusalem (CNN) - Israeli and Palestinian leaders were looking forward to direct talks this week in Washington with both hope and apprehension. The two sides have agreed to hold direct peace talks beginning Thursday, the first such talks since 2008.
"I am convinced that if the Palestinian leadership approaches these talks with the same degree of seriousness as [us], we will be able to advance toward a stable agreement that will ensure peace and security for both peoples and will contribute to the security and stability of the region," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Netanyahu leaves for Washington on Tuesday, he said, with the goal to "seriously and responsibly" advance a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The talks will be held without prior conditions, he said.