Abbas, Mitchell discuss AL committee's endorsement for direct talks

15:43, July 31, 2010      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed on Friday with U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell the recent developments in the Palestinian territory.

The Palestinian state-run Wafa news agency reported that Abbas discussed with Mitchell, over a phone call, the situation in the territory a day after the Arab League (AL) peace committee endorsed an American proposal to start direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

The 13-member Arab committee anonymously endorsed going to direct negotiations and left it to Abbas to decide when to start the talks.

Direct negotiations halted after Israel launched a major offensive on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in 2008 to put an end to firing rockets from the territory on its towns and cities.

Both the Palestinians and the Israelis have been engaged in U.S. -brokered indirect proximity talks since May, but Abbas has been under heavy pressure from the United States and the Israeli government to enter direct peace talks to revive the stalled peace process.

Abbas preconditioned that Israel freezes settlement construction and recognizes the pre-1967 borders as permanent boundaries for a future Palestinian state before going to direct discussions with the Jewish state.

Source: Xinhua


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