Israel and the Palestinian Authority have agreed a joint statement at the Annapolis peace conference, which it is hoped may lead to a full peace agreement before the end of 2008.
Statesmen and other interested parties have been giving their reactions.
SAEB EREKAT, SENIOR PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR
We have this opportunity now, I hope we are not going to waste it, I hope we seize the opportunity and stay on the course in producing a two-state solution...
We are doing this peace process for ourselves as Palestinians and I think we can go back to our people with a message of peace, freedom and security, a two-state solution. I think we will win the day.
SAMI ABU ZUHRI, SENIOR HAMAS OFFICIAL
Abbas has committed a crime by pledging to follow the road map ... Resistance will continue against the occupation by all means.
We have heard too many false promises ... Bush has failed to deliver anything for the Palestinians during his presidency ... He is completely biased towards Israel.
MARC REGEV, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN
We've had a good meeting today at Annapolis, but the real challenge is what happens in the weeks and the months ahead because if Annapolis is only nice words that will be a tragedy.
What is incumbent upon us both, Israelis and Palestinians is to work, work hard over the coming period to overcome the gaps and solve problems.
ZALMAN SHOVAL, ISRAELI RIGHT-WING OPPOSITION LIKUD PARTY
Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) has really no control and no authority and if you listened to his speech today he didn't give an inch on his quite extreme demands on Jerusalem, borders and so on ...
The chances of anything coming out of this are quite slim.
FAHMI ZARIR, SPOKESMAN FOR FATAH
Annapolis is a step in a long path of difficult negotiations. We support our leadership and we trust it ...
We reject normalisation and coexistence as long as there is occupation. Israel should withdraw from our territories. All of us in Fatah stand behind President Mahmoud Abbas.
DAVID MILLIBAND, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY
I think there's been a deep freeze in negotiations to create a Palestinian state to live alongside Israel over the last six or seven years and today that deep freeze ended with a time-limited commitment to work to negotiate the details of a Palestinian state over the next year.
That's a big thing given the importance of this issue to regional and global stability.
PRINCE SAUD AL-FAISAL, SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER
The United States and the Quartet have expressed their commitment to working towards achieving a final settlement of the Arab Israeli conflict within a specific time frame, and we shall hold them to that.
It is absolutely necessary to establish an international follow-up mechanism that monitors progress in the negotiations among the parties, as well as the implementation of commitments made.