"It's a mark of real seriousness on one hand and respect for Kerry on the other," Miller told CNN.
Opponents of the peace talks insist that divisions remain too deep to overcome. Dating back to the creation of Israel in 1947, the Middle East conflict has spawned a tortuous peace process that yielded iconic images but no satisfactory solution.
One of the most famous photos was the 1993 shot of President Bill Clinton looking on as Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat shook hands over an agreement intended to bring a full peace treaty by 1999.
Rabin was assassinated two years later later by a Jewish law student who said he wanted to halt the peace process.
Livni referred to the failure of previous peace efforts in her comments Tuesday, saying "it's not our intention to argue about the past, but to create solutions and make decisions about the future."
The newest round of talks began Monday night with an Iftar dinner to break the fast in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, then continued Tuesday morning with negotiators also meeting with Obama before joining Kerry for the announcement that took place an hour later than scheduled.
Livni and attorney Isaac Molho, an aide to Netanyahu, represented Israel while Erakat and Fatah official Mohammad Shtayyeh spoke for the Palestinians. Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk also took part as the U.S. envoy to the talks.