Arab League endorses Abbas for halting talks

Arab League endorses Abbas for halting talks
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Mahmoud Abbas has been backed by the Arab League over the Palestinian leadership’s decision to halt peace talks, after Israel resumed settlement building.

At a meeting in Libya, a committee of the league’s foreign ministers called on the US to keep up pressure on the Israelis.

But a spokesman for Abbas denied a report that the league had given Washington a one-month deadline to resolve the deadlock.

He said Arab states would discuss alternatives to direct talks in the coming weeks but did not elaborate.

Urged by Washington, Arab foreign ministers are seeking ways to avert the collapse of the process launched by the US five weeks ago.

The Palestinians have told the Americans that Israel must fully stop settlement activities for the peace process to succeed.

The Israelis have accused the Palestinians of adding pre-conditions at the start of the talks.

The Arab League’s Secretary General has described the Israeli position as “very, very negative”.

About half a million Israelis are now thought to live in some 100 settlements in the West Bank. The settlements are illegal under international law.

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