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Progress made in Kerry-Abbas meeting over resumption of peace talks: official


09:30, July 20, 2013

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the West Bank city of Ramallah, July 19, 2013. (Xinhua/Pool/Fadi Arouri)

RAMALLAH, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Progress was made on Friday regarding the resumption of the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks following a meeting here between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said a senior Palestinian official.

Nabil Abu Rdeineh, spokesman of the Palestinian presidency, said in a statement published by the Palestinian state-run news agency Wafa that an achievement was made during the meeting in Ramallah.

"The progress was made after agreeing upon the principles which pave the road for the resumption of the negotiations," said Abu Rdeineh.

Meanwhile, a well-informed Palestinian source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that Abbas and Kerry on Friday agreed to hold meetings between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators within the coming few days.

The source, meanwhile, said Kerry gave Abbas assurance about an Israeli declaration of accepting the principle of the two-state solution based on 1967 borders, despite Israel's current rejection to it.

Abu Rdeineh, for his part, said certain details still need to be resolved, and that if everything goes fine, Kerry will invite Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and an Israeli representative to meet with him in Washington and hold initial negotiations within the coming few days.

Abbas held two meetings in Jordan on Wednesday with Kerry, who met on Friday with Erekat. The U.S. top diplomat then arrived in Ramallah Friday evening and met Abbas again.

Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks stopped in October 2010 after Israel insisted on continuing settlements-building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Kerry has been trying hard to revive the talks since he came to office in March.

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