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France, UK welcome continuation of talks

Jan. 5, 2012 11:11 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2012 7:55 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- France and the UK on Wednesday welcomed the announcement of planned future meetings between Israeli and Palestinian envoys after a summit in Amman this week.

After PLO official Saeb Erekat met Israeli delegate Yitzkhak Molcho and Quartet representatives in the Jordanian capital on Tuesday, a presidential spokesman said talks would continue until the end of the month.

Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said the parties would meet "on a continual basis, without prior announcement of time and date," adding that the sides would keep details of the meetings secret.

British Foreign Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt called the planned meetings a "positive development," and called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to "show the political leadership and courage needed to break the current impasse and make progress towards a negotiated two-state solution," in a statement on Wednesday.

Meanwhile France also welcomed the announcement, adding it "reaffirms the need for (the meetings) to swiftly lead to the presentation by the two parties of comprehensive and detailed proposals on border and security issues.

PLO envoys say they handed Israeli officials a proposal for resolving border and security issues at Tuesday's meeting. Judeh said Israeli representatives promised to respond to the proposals in future meetings.
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