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Originally published July 20, 2013 at 7:07 AM | Page modified July 21, 2013 at 2:04 AM

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Israel's Netanyahu says peace talks will be tough

Israel's prime minister says he expects recently announced peace talks with the Palestinians to be tough, and that any agreement reached would have to be ratified in a national Israeli referendum.

The Associated Press

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JERUSALEM —

Israel's prime minister says he expects recently announced peace talks with the Palestinians to be tough, and that any agreement reached would have to be ratified in a national Israeli referendum.

Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday at his weekly Cabinet meeting, his first on-camera remarks since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of peace talks over the weekend - ending a five year deadlock.

Netanyahu said his main guiding principles will be to maintain a Jewish majority in Israel and to avoid a future Palestinian state becoming an Iranian-backed "terror state."

Final status negotiations aim to reach a deal on the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees and security arrangements. The Palestinians say talks will be based on Israel's pre-1967 borders.

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