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Arab League to reject direct Palestinian-Israeli talks: analyst

07-29-2010 14:00 BJT

JERUSALEM, July 28 (Xinhua) -- When foreign ministers of Arab League (AL) member states meet on Thursday, they will consider whether to approve a Palestinian move towards direct talks with Israel.

Ahead of that session, Israel, the United States and France have been trying to persuade regional players that face-to-face negotiations are the only sensible way to make progress.

However, regional experts told Xinhua on Wednesday they think the representative body of the Arab world will reject direct negotiations at this stage.


Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to Cairo to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The trip was aimed at updating his host on his recent discussions with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House and, more significantly, to urge Cairo to persuade the Palestinians of the benefits of direct talks.

Netanyahu followed that journey with a meeting in Amman on Tuesday with Jordan's King Abdullah II. This session was also intended, from Israel's perspective, to put some form of pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"The two leaders discussed the need to ensure direct, serious and effective negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that would address all final status issues and create a solution of two states for two peoples in which Israelis and Palestinians will live in lasting and secure peace," Netanyahu's office said in a statement issued following the talks.

The Israeli premier is anxious to win Arab support for the direct-talks approach prior to September 26. That is the date on which his own government's 10-month partial settlement freeze comes to an end. His more hawkish domestic coalition partners are warning that in line with Netanyahu's own public statement, the moratorium will come to an end on that day.

Should September 26 arrive with no direct talks in place, the ongoing indirect parley is likely to collapse, with many analysts warning of a return to popular uprising and an outbreak of violence on the part of the Palestinian public.

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