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After months of indirect negotiations, Palestinian and Israeli leaders plan to launch direct peace talks on September 2.

The first face-to-face talks in almost two years will begin without preconditions.

The United States, who are organising the meeting, says talks should be completed within one year.

The meeting between Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, will take place in Washington.

Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Tony Blair, the quartet representative, will also be present for parts of the negotiations.

Washington says the creation of a Palestinian state is vital for US security interests.

Al Jazeera's Monica Villamizar reports.

Source: Al Jazeera