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Report: Abbas under pressure to resume talks

May 25, 2013 12:26 P.M. (Updated: May 26, 2013 5:39 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas is under huge pressure to resume peace talks with Israel without obtaining any guarantees from the Israeli side, a senior Palestinian official said Saturday.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity to Italian news agency AKI, the official said that the majority of foreign ministers who have recently visited Ramallah have urged Abbas to comply with US Secretary of State John Kerry's requests to resume negotiations.

Kerry, who has been pressing for talks between both sides, has failed to obtain commitments by Israel to stop settlement building, accept a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, or present an Israeli vision for the two state solution, the official said.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu may make concessions by easing some of the restrictions on the Palestinian economy, the official said, thus suggesting that US efforts will turn to economic improvements rather than a political solution.

On Friday, Kerry urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take "hard decisions" to revive the Middle East peace process.

"We're getting toward a time now when hard decisions need to be made," he told a news conference in Tel Aviv at the end of his fourth visit to the region since he took office in February.
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