The proposal by the 'quartet,' which includes the U.S., calls for Israelis and Palestinians to offer comprehensive plans within three months of resuming talks and end negotiations by the end of 2012.
The United States and other world powers unveiled an eleventh-hour plan Friday to try to renew stalled Middle East peace talks, hours after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made an emotional plea to the United Nations Security Council to grant the statehood that his people have failed to win in 18 years of negotiations with Israel.
The skeletal proposal by the so-called diplomatic quartet — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the U.N. — calls for Israelis and Palestinians to each offer comprehensive plans within three months of resuming talks and to finish the entire negotiation by the end of 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the initiative a "concrete and detailed plan" and urged the two sides to "take advantage of the opportunity to get back to talks."
Privately, diplomats are deeply pessimistic about the prospects of a deal. The release of the proposal late Friday after a week of high drama and drawn-out diplomacy at the U.N. underscores how desperate U.S. and European officials are to draw the adversaries back to peace talks, rather than see the Palestinians rely on their sovereignty bid at the U.N.