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Erekat: Clinton not planning visit to West Bank after Israel talks

July 14, 2012 10:34 P.M. (Updated: July 16, 2012 12:29 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- PLO official Saeb Erekat said Saturday that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not planning to visit the occupied territories on Monday after visiting Israel.

Israel's Channel 10 reported that Clinton was arriving in the region in a bid to bring officials from both sides back to the negotiating table and establish conditions for returning to the peace process.

Erekat said President Mahmoud Abbas met Clinton last week in Paris but no meetings were scheduled domestically.

He told Ma'an that Abbas would attend an upcoming meeting in Doha and brief Arab heads of state about the financial crisis and the latest developments on the ground in Palestine.

Earlier Saturday, Arab League official Ahmad Bin Hilli announced that an urgent meeting in Qatar will convene with members of the Arab peace initiative later in July.

Bin Hilli told reporters that the July 22 meeting will be held in Doha at the request of Abbas. He is expected to brief the initiative's follow-up committee on future steps.

Topics cited at the news conference include "pressures on the PA," the 19-percent increase in illegal Israeli settlements and an ongoing financial crisis.

A meeting on the 17th will take up the issue of Yasser Arafat's death, he added. That case has taken on new urgency following Al Jazeera's reporting on the possibility he was poisoned.

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