Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Arab League (except Iranian ally Syria) backs indirect talks

From JPOST.COM 03/03/2010:

CAIRO — Arab nations gave the green light Wednesday for Palestinians to enter indirect negotiations with Israel for a preliminary four-month period, a decision that likely breaks the months-long deadlock over resuming Mideast peace talks.

The United States has proposed so-called proximity talks to end the impasse between Israelis and Palestinians over the conditions for resuming negotiations...
...Abbas has  ...been wary of entering even indirect talks without Arab backing. ...Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa ...said [14 Arab League] foreign ministers backed the talks on the condition that they last four months. "This should not be an open-ended process," he said.

The ministers also said the indirect talks, mediated by US officials, should not turn into direct Israeli-Palestinian talks without a total freeze in settlement construction.

...The statement did not receive the unanimous support of the 14 Arab nations that took part in the meeting. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem interrupted Moussa while he was reading the statement, insisting that the decision on whether to join indirect talks or not was up to the Palestinians....
Government spokesman Mark Regev welcomed the Arab decision. "Prime Minister Netanyahu has been calling continuously for the resumption of peace talks and we hope now that the talks can move forward," he said...
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