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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday called on the Palestinians and Israel to seize the opportunity of their direct talks. The meeting is scheduled for early September in Washington.
Ban welcomes the decision by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to begin direct talks following the statement of the Quartet and at the invitation of the U.S. government.
Ban says he believes negotiations are the only way for the parties to resolve all final status issues. He also calls upon both sides to show leadership, courage and responsibility to realize peoples' aspirations.
On the same day, some Palestinian factions said they opposed Abbas's decision to resume direct talks, arguing that it hurts Palestinian people's interests.