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Jordan prods for Palestinian state

Associated Press

AMMAN, Jordan – Jordan urged the United States and its diplomatic partners on Sunday to help resume talks aimed at achieving Palestinian statehood now that Israel has pulled Jewish settlers out of the Gaza Strip after 38 years of occupation.

Jordanian premier Adnan Badran told Alvaro de Soto, the senior U.N. envoy for the Mideast peace process, that Palestinian leaders need the international community’s support for the next step in their quest for statehood.

Badran said the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations – the so-called diplomatic quartet – can influence Palestinians and Israelis to resume talks toward a final settlement based on the group’s “road map” that envisions a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel.

Such negotiations will help “achieve peace and set the stage for establishing a viable Palestinian state,” he said.

“The role of the Quartet is significant to make Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip a success,” Badran said.

In Damascus, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa told the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mainstream Fatah faction, Farouk Kaddoumi, that internal Palestinian differences must be put aside.

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