Breakthrough? Abbas gets Arab backing to enter Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas won Arab League backing today to enter direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks – a step the US and Israel have been pushing for.
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"Apparently the American letter has addressed part of the concerns,'' said Khatib. "The letter helped, it didn't address all the concerns.''Skip to next paragraph
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Back in February, the Arab League agreed to indirect talks to be reviewed after four months. Though the agreement to direct talks only in principle, both Dajani and Khatib said it represents an easing of the Arab League's initial skepticism.
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said that the organization is still looking for "written guarantees'' on settlements. Abbas told the forum that he would agree to direct talks once he gets assurances on building and using the 1967 West Bank border as a basis for talks.
Meanwhile, in Israel, the state-run radio sparked a political controversy when it reported that a top-ranking member of the opposition Kadima party, Haim Ramon, tried to dissuade top Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat from renewing talks with the current government.
The report seemed to echo an accusation made by Netanyahu earlier in the week that some Israelis are trying to undermine his effort to push for direct talks. Both Ramon and Erekat denied the report.
A Palestinian decision to resume direct negotiations with the Palestinians would help ease Israel's increasing diplomatic isolation since Netanyahu took office.
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