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February 19, 2014 AT 2:13 PM
Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met for dinner on Wednesday at what the United States called "an important point in the negotiations" over an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. At the time, Kerry said : "Our objective will be to achieve a final status agreement over the course of the next nine months." As that deadline has approached, U.S. officials appear to have scaled back their ambitions, saying they are trying to forge a "framework for negotiations" as a first step though they still hope to hammer out a full agreement by April 29.