However, Kerry “already feels the clock ticking,” the US State Department official said.
One of “the motivating factors” for the relaunch of the talks was to avoid a “train wreck” if the Palestinians decided to take their case for statehood to other international bodies as they did at the UN, the White House official added.
“So long as this process is moving forward, I think the risks of that sort of thing are reduced, if not entirely eliminated,” he said.
The US sees its main role now in the talks as a “facilitator,” with new US envoy to the peace talks Martin Indyk preparing to spend time in the region to work on the negotiations on a “day-to-day” basis.
It was not immediately certain if he would attend the next talks though.
Earlier, US President Barack Obama lent his weight to the fresh peace initiative, meeting with both Livni and Erekat at the White House.
“He underscored that there is much to do in the days and months ahead,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Kerry had broken the ice late on Monday by hosting an iftar dinner at which Livni and Erekat sat side-by-side to end the Muslim day of fasting for Ramadan.