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Abbas to meet U.S. envoy Thursday


08:04, September 16, 2011

RAMALLAH, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet U.S. Middle East envoy David Hale Thursday to discuss renewing peace talks with Israel, an official from Abbas' office said.

Hale is in the region to try to reach a compromise allowing the negotiations to resume and avoid a Palestinian bid for United Nations membership later this month.

"Abbas is still open to study any serious ideas from U.S. officials regarding the launching of a meaningful peace process," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Abbas wants the peace talks -- if resumed -- to lead to a solution securing a Palestinian state alongside Israel and ending the Israeli occupation which started in 1967, the official added.

But the official stressed that the American ideas should not contradict with the Palestinian decision to obtain the UN membership.

The U.S. administration opposes the Palestinian approach to the UN, saying the establishment of a Palestinian state should come through a negotiated agreement with Israel, not unilaterally via the international organization.

Earlier today, Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Al- Maliki said that Abbas will submit the Palestinian request through the UN Security Council after he addresses the General Assembly on Sept. 23.

Hale is visiting the region with other senior officials from the administration a week after an unfruitful effort to persuade the Palestinian leadership to call off their UN plans.

The European Union also prefers that the Palestinians resume the negotiations with Israel.

In 2010, a short round of peace talks, brokered by Washington, broke down when Israel allowed construction in West Bank settlements after a 10-month moratorium ended.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian negotiator said that the United States and Israel were "extorting the Palestinians financially" to block the bid for the UN.


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