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Official: No new peace talks planned

Nov. 13, 2013 4:58 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 14, 2013 9:51 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have no immediate plans to hold new talks, after the Palestinian negotiating team offered its resignation in protest of Israeli settlement plans.

A PLO official told Ma'an on Wednesday that the US-brokered talks were suspended in practice, with no date set for a new round of negotiations.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that President Mahmoud Abbas would attempt to coax his two senior negotiators into returning but it was unclear if they would.

The negotiators, Saeb Erekat and Muhammad Shtayyeh, tendered their resignations last week after Israel announced plans to step up settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, Abbas told Egyptian CBC television that he would keep negotiating with Israel even if the officials declined to rejoin the talks.

"Either we can convince it to return, and we're trying with them, or we form a new delegation," he said, according to Reuters.

Reuters TV quoted Erekat as confirming the talks were frozen.

"In reality, the negotiations stopped last week in light of the settlement announcements last week," he said.
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