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Report: Abbas wants to persuade European leaders to pressure Israel

Oct. 14, 2013 at 5:43 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants European countries to increase pressure on Israel to freeze West Bank settlement construction, Maariv reported.

Abbas left Monday on a trip to Germany, Belgium and Italy, the Hebrew daily said.

The trip comes amid reports from Palestinian sources that Israel is considering halting American-initiated peace talks and a pending prisoner release, Maariv said.

"Abbas and the Palestinian leadership hear the opinions in Israel that are talking about the possibility of freezing talks because of recent events and are preparing an alternative plan ... with the goal of winning international recognition for a Palestinian state," the report said.

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators have met several times in the American-sponsored talks, which have a goal of reaching a peace agreement in nine months.

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