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Arab League postpones meeting

Sept. 30, 2010 2:35 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 1, 2010 11:33 A.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- The Arab League follow-up committee meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas was postponed from Monday to Wednesday to give the US more time to salvage peace talks, Agence-France Presse reported Thursday.

Arab League spokesman Ahmed Eissa told the news agency that the meeting was delayed to "allow Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to attend the meeting, in light of the latest developments and efforts by the United States for peace talks."

Abbas is due to meet US envoy George Mitchell in Ramallah Thursday, and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Friday to discuss whether he would remain in peace talks despite Israel's renewed settlement building.

The president had said he would withdraw from talks if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not extend a ten-month moratorium on settlement expansion, which expired Sunday.

So far, despite international pressure, Netanyahu has refused to renew the partial freeze, and settlers across the West Bank have resumed building.

Abbas told reporters earlier in the week that walking out of talks was not his decision alone, but would be made in consultation with Palestinian leaders, and backed up by a decision by the Arab League.

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