May 2, 2010 in Nation/World

New talks with Israel get Arab nations’ OK

Hadell Al-Shalchi Associated Press
 

CAIRO, Egypt – Arab nations on Saturday endorsed indirect peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis, a move that likely paves the way for the start of long-stalled U.S.-brokered negotiations.

The United States has proposed the talks to end the impasse between Israelis and Palestinians over the conditions for resuming negotiations, which broke down more than a year ago amid Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The green light from Arab foreign ministers comes after a first attempt to get indirect talks going collapsed in March when Israel announced a new Jewish housing project in east Jerusalem. The Israeli decision enraged Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as a future capital, and drew fierce criticism from the United States.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signaled that he is willing to resume negotiations, but has been waiting for approval from Arab countries, which would provide Abbas the political cover he needs to return to talks.

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