Report says Abbas willing to resume talks

June 25, 2013 at 7:01 AM
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JERUSALEM, June 25 (UPI) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he is willing to participate in a new round of peace talks with Israel, Israel's Channel 2 reported.

The television report Monday night said Abbas has expressed willingness to return to the negotiating table for a designated period to test the seriousness of the Israeli government. If that fails, he plans to approach the United Nations, the report said. There was no mention of how long the designated period would be.

Abbas is expected to discuss conditions for the resumption of talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who is due back to the region Thursday, his fifth visit since taking office Feb. 1, the report said.

Kerry is expected to coordinate a meeting between Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said.

A Palestinian source said he doubted Kerry would succeed and said the matter is not on the Palestinian agenda, the website said.

An Israeli source close to the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators said Abbas has hinted his willingness to resume negotiations in meetings with foreign officials.

The Palestinians have insisted that a resumption of talks must be based on Israel's willingness to impose a freeze on West Bank settlement building. Israel has said it is willing to resume talks immediately without any preconditions.

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