Palestinians to resume talks with Israel

Updated: 2013-03-25 09:21


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RAMALLAH - The Palestinian leadership accepted a US request to engage in exploratory talks in preparation for resuming direct peace negotiations with Israel, a Palestinian official said Sunday.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, said that the negotiations will last eight weeks and be overseen by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who will hold separate meetings with Palestinian and Israeli officials.

During the eight weeks, Kerry will try to restore confidence between the two sides and discuss with Israel on the Palestinian demand to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Abed Rabbo told Xinhua.

The Palestinians also want Israel to recognize that the negotiations references are settling the conflict on the basis of two-state solution, with the borders of the Palestinian state include the lands that Israel occupied in 1967.

"Based on the results of these talks, we will assess the level of Israeli commitment to the requirements of the peace process and the resumption of direct negotiations," Abed Rabbo added.

Resuming the negotiations, which stopped in 2010, came after US President Barack Obama' landmark visit to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan earlier this week.

Obama said that Kerry will stay in the region to help bridge the gap between the two sides.

On Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Kerry in Amman, Jordan, where the latter renewed the importance of restarting the negotiations.