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Spokesman: Abbas to visit Turkey, Jordan, Egypt this week
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11:07, November 11, 2007

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will start a regional tour this week, which includes Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in Ramallah Saturday.

Abu Rudeineh told reporters that Abbas would begin this week "aquick tour that would include two Arab countries, Jordan and Egypt, as well as Turkey."

He added that the aim of the visits "would be to discuss with their leaders the preparations for the Annapolis peace summit to be held at the end of November."

Abu Rudeineh was referring to an international peace conference called by U.S. President George W. Bush in July, which will invite Israel, the Palestinians, Arab and world leaders to resume the peace process and end up with establishing a Palestinian state.

"The President (Abbas) will discuss with his Arab brothers the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations before going to the summit and before holding the Arab follow-up committee in order to unify the Arabs' position," said Abu Rudeineh.

He also accused the Israeli side for "obstructing any progress in the peace process," urging the United States "to exert more efforts to remove these obstacles."

The much-touted peace conference is expected to be held in Annapolis in the U.S. later this month.

In early October, Israel and the Palestinians formed two negotiating teams to hammer out the joint document over resuming the peace negotiations.

The two sides, however, have so far failed to work out the document as the gap between them is huge especially on those final-status issues, including the borders of a Palestinian state, sovereignty of disputed Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees.

While the Palestinians voices demands for a detailed timetable for establishment of a Palestinian statehood, Israel insists that the Palestinians should crack down on militants first.

Source: Xinhua



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