October 9, 2010 in Nation/World

Arab leaders give talks a reprieve

Salah Nasrawi Associated Press

SIRTE, Libya – Arab ministers agreed Friday to give the United States another month to try to persuade Israel to renew curbs on West Bank settlement construction and keep Mideast peace talks from collapsing.

The one-month grace period followed a frantic effort by the Obama administration to broker a compromise as the sides faced rising friction over the stalemate.

Foreign ministers from the 22-member Arab League warned Israel of the dangerous consequences of continuing settlement construction in lands the Palestinians claim for a future state.

Delegates who were at Friday’s meeting said some of Friday’s discussions centered on the need to delay a final decision until U.S. congressional elections in early November so the Obama administration would not face as much political pressure.

Friday’s statement came despite a proposal by moderate Arab nations led by Egypt and Jordan for Abbas to return to indirect talks. Some hard-line Arab states, including Syria, opposed any attempt to go back to the talks.

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