Middle East peace talks on secondary issues such as pollution and refugees ended on an upbeat note Friday, with the Israeli negotiator predicting a possible peace agreement within months.

"I believe that we are on the verge of peace in the Middle East," Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin said at the end of the two-day meeting."Provided we do the utmost . . . to compromise, then (an agreement) may be a matter not of years, but of months," said Beilin.

The cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators also gave a U.S. official hope that the next full round of peace talks, to begin Monday in Washington, would go well.