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quarta-feira, 25 de agosto de 2010

DIRECT PEACE TALKS BETWEEN ISRAELIANS AND PALESTINIANS


Israeli and Palestinian leaders are to resume direct talks in Washington at the beginning of September, with the goal of reaching a peace agreement in one year. "I have invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas to meet on 2 September in Washington DC to re-launch direct negotiations," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. The goal of the talks was "to resolve all final status issues which we believe can be completed within one year," she said, referring to issues like borders of a future Palestinian state, the future of Palestinian refugees, and the fate of Jerusalem.

Clinton said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II would also join the talks, which have been suspended since December 2008. She added that US President Barack Obama would hold one-on-one meetings on 1 September with Netanyahu, Abbas, Mubarak and King Abdullah, followed by a dinner bringing all five leaders together. Clinton said she that Netanyahu and Abbas are invited for trilateral talks the following day at the State Department.

Netanyahu welcomed the American invitation to start direct talks with the Palestinian Authority. "We are coming to the talks with a real desire to achieve a peace agreement between the two peoples, while safeguarding Israel's national interests, foremost security," he said at the weekly Israeli Cabinet meeting on Sunday. "We are seeking to surprise the critics and the skeptics, but in order to do this we need a real partner on the Palestinian side. Security, recognition of the national state of the Jewish people, and the end of the conflict: these are the three components that will ensure us a real and lasting peace agreement," Netanyahu declared.

He added: "We are discussing a peace agreement between Israel and a demilitarized Palestinian state. This state, if it should be established after this process, is due to end the conflict and not to be a façade for its continuation by other means."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warned Obama that Palestinians would immediately pull out of the peace talks if Israel ends its settlement construction moratorium. Erekat said President Mahmoud Abbas had sent a letter to Western leaders stressing that any renewed Israeli settlement construction would spell the end of the talks. The Israeli moratorium is supposed to end in late September.

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