Home > Arab League, Israel, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, United States of America > Arab League backs direct talks between Palestinians and Israel

Arab League backs direct talks between Palestinians and Israel

CAIRO (WJC)–In a surprise decision the foreign ministers of the Arab League on Thursday authorized the Palestinian Authority to enter into direct negotiations with Israel, but left it up to President Mahmoud Abbas to decide on the timing. The Israeli government welcomed the decision, taken at a meeting in Cairo, with Prime Minister Netanyahu issuing a statement saying he was “prepared to begin direct and honest discussions with the Palestinian Authority in the coming days.”

The US, which has been urging Abbas to switch from the current “proximity” talks to direct talks, also praised the move, and said it would seek to convene the direct talks “as soon as possible.” Netanyahu added that it would be possible through direct negotiations to soon reach an accord “between the two peoples.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, currently in Washington, also welcome the Arab League’s decision, saying that only direct negotiations would lead to two states for two peoples. He added that the negotiations would require “difficult and courageous” decisions from both sides, and that he hoped the Palestinians “also realize that.”

The foreign minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, said his counterparts in the Arab League had decided to send a letter to US President Barack Obama explaining the Arab position on the peace process in the Middle East.

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

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