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Arab League ministers have backed a US plan for indirect talks between the Palestinians and Israelis, hoping that they will boost the stalled peace process.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, broke off direct negotiations 14 months ago when Israel launched its war on Gaza.
He has since refused to restart direct talks until Israel halts all settlement activity in the Occupied Territories.

Recently George Mitchell, the US special envoy to the Middle East, has been trying to bring the two sides together.

It is thought he will mediate in the so-called proximity talks, which have been welcomed by Israel.
The Arab League is setting a time limit of four months for the initiative to work.

But are indirect talks the key to rebooting the peace process or is it just another stalling tactic?

Inside Story presenter Shiulie Ghosh is joined by Richard Murphy, a former US senior diplomat and ambassador to several countries in the Middle East, Dr Abdul Sattar Qassem, a professor of political science at the Najah University in the West Bank, and Gamal Abdel Gawad, an analyst with the al-Ahram Centre of Strategic Studies.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Thursday, March 4, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera