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New US Secretary of State Kerry calls President Abbas

Feb. 3, 2013 7:53 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 4, 2013 9:43 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Newly-confirmed US Secretary of State John Kerry called President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, official Palestinian Authority media reported.

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh told Wafa news agency that the leaders discussed holding a meeting soon on the peace process with Israel.

Kerry said the US is aware of Palestine's financial crisis, and is committed to supporting peace negotiations, according to Abu Rudeineh.

The five-term US senator from Massachusetts was easily confirmed as Secretary of State by the US Senate on Tuesday. Days earlier, he said that he hoped for to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

US-brokered peace talks broke down in 2010 amid mutual acrimony.

Since then Israel has accelerated construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - land the Palestinians want for a future state - and the Palestinians have taken steps to gain greater recognition at the United Nations and its agencies.

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