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Palestinians Warm Up to Quartet Peace Plan

A senior Palestinian official said Thursday that the Middle East Quartet’s proposal for renewing negotiations with Israel contained some encouraging elements, after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas convened top officials to discuss the matter.

“The Quartet statement contains encouraging elements and we call on Israel to announce its commitment to the principles and points of reference it identifies,” Yasser Abed Rabbo, the secretary general of the PLO, told reporters after the meeting.

Abed Rabbo said that despite the encouraging elements, it is not enough to resume negotiations. The Palestinians are eager to restart talks, but Israel first has to commit to all references in the Quartet statement, “especially concerning the borders of 1967 and stopping settlement activity,” he said.

After the Palestinians’ bid to seek full membership at the United Nations, the Quartet of Mideast mediators – the U.S., the UN, the European Union and Russia – called for the resumption of talks and a deal within a year. The Quartet statement did not specifically refer to the two Palestinian demands, but listed a number of speeches, UN resolutions and other documents that contain them.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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