Netanyahu lauds support for talks

Israeli PM reacts to Arab League's backing for indirect Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

    The Arab League has stood firm against Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory [EPA]

    Arab League backing

    The Arab League, a 22-nation body, declared on Saturday that it backed one last round of US-brokered talks between Israelis and Palestinians within a four-month deadline.

    "Despite the lack of conviction of the Israeli side in achieving peace, the committee affirms what was agreed on the 2nd of March 2010 in regards to the time period for the indirect negotiations," the Arab League said after a meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo, the Egyptian capital.

    in depth

      

      Netanyahu outmanoeuvres Obama?
      Netanyahu 'speaks like a conqueror'
      Wanted: Middle East statesmen
      Settlements strain US-Israel ties
      US Jews and Israelis split on Obama
      Arab media judge Mitchell tour

    It reaffirmed its demand for an end to settlement construction, calling for "a complete end to settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem".

    The Arab League's statement came a day after Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, announced that the Middle East peace process was likely to resume next week.

    The talks will not be the face-to-face meetings the US administration had wanted, but would involve US officials meeting with each side separately.

    Erekat said a condition for Arab League support for continued talks would be a halt of settlement activity in the West Bank.

    "If Israel builds one house in the West Bank, Palestinians will immediately stop the negotiations," he said.

    Stalled talks

    Negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel have been stalled since Israel's three-week assault on the Gaza Strip, run by the Palestinian group Hamas, began in December 2008.

    Attempts to revive the peace process last month collapsed when Israel announced construction of new housing projects in occupied East Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as the future capital of any independent state.

    The Arab League issued a statement at the end of a summit in Libya last March rejecting Israel's settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory.

    However, the leaders had failed at the time to reach consensus on the resumption of discussions between the two sides.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.