Palestinian officials urge Quartet to put pressure on Israel

10:33, March 19, 2010      

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Palestinian officials said they hope the upcoming meeting of the Middle East Quartet would put pressure on Israel to resume the long-stalled peace talks.

The Quartet, which groups the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, is to convene on Friday in Moscow to push forward Middle East peace process.

As the Israeli leader insists not to freeze settlements in East Jerusalem, the whole peace process "is now in a severe crisis. ... The Palestinian leadership hopes the Quartet would make serious and decisive positions" to save the peace process, said Ahmad Majdalani, a member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s executive committee.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, headed for Moscow and handed the Quartet's representatives letters from Abbas, urging them to oblige Israel to stop all settlement activities, including buildings in East Jerusalem, a source of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas office told Xinhua.

The letters also asked Israel to stop raids in the West Bank and to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip, according to the source.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, an aide to Abbas, said The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has expressed its position in these letters.

"We asked them (Quartet) to step up their efforts to end the building of settlements in the Palestinian territories. ...We hope a practical decision would be taken regarding that key question ( settlement) in order to let the political process start," Abed Rabbo added.

Source: Xinhua
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