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Palestinians urge timeframe for Mideast peace talks

31 July 2016, MVT 12:13
31 July 2016, MVT 12:13

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Saturday said any reboot of peace talks with Israel should happen within a clear timeframe and under international supervision, after meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris.

Abbas also held talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on the prospects of achieving a two-state solution, senior Palestinian official Saeb Erakat said, describing both discussions as "very constructive".

"We need a timeline for the negotiations, we need a timeline for the implementation, and we need an international framework that will ensure the implementation of any agreement reached," Erakat told reporters.

France has been leading a fresh initiative to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, after the last round of negotiations collapsed in 2014.

But while Palestinians have welcomed the French push, Israel has said it favours direct negotiations.

Abbas "reiterated our full support to the French initiative that aims to convene an international conference before the end of the year," Erakat said.

The Palestinian negotiator added that there was "no contradiction" between the French, US and more recently Egyptian efforts to break the deadlock and move the peace talks forward.

"All these efforts aim to revive the peace process, to achieve the two-state solution (based) on the 1967 lines. They are complementary," he said.

The diplomatic initiatives showed that the "status quo can't be sustained", he added, reiterating the need for Israel to "stop all settlement activities" in order to give "credibility to any peace process".

The Middle East diplomatic quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- urged Israel to stop building settlements and Palestinians to cease incitement to violence in a July report that drew a frosty response from both sides.

While in Paris, Kerry also held talks with his French counterpart on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"They agreed that strong leadership was required by all parties to help reduce the violence and take practical steps that can lead to meaningful discussions," the US State Department said in a statement.

Paris, France | AFP |

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