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Abbas spokesman: Peace talks to continue until April deadline

April 16, 2014 7:46 P.M. (Updated: April 18, 2014 9:57 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Peace talks between the PLO and Israel will continue until their deadline on April 29, President Abbas' spokesman said Wednesday.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh told a press conference that talks are ongoing, despite recent setbacks, and will "discuss the principles that can lead to the extension of negotiations."

Abu Rudeineh made the comments following a meeting between Abbas and Israeli Knesset members in Ramallah, adding that such meetings prove there is "a glimmer of hope" to achieve peace by showing that there are people in the Israeli community that want peace and the two state solution.

The release of a final group of pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners is not a condition but a demand, he added.

Earlier, a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators scheduled for Wednesday was postponed.

Palestinian officials told AFP the meeting was being postponed to Thursday to allow for the arrival of US mediator Martin Indyk to the region.

The peace process has since last week suffered a new blow when Israel said it would freeze the transfer of duties it collects on the Palestinians' behalf, in retaliation for their diplomatic action against Israel at the United Nations.

Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of settler housing units and its army has killed over 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since the negotiations began.

Most Palestinian political factions, with the exception of Fatah, held demonstrations in July last year to protest a return to negotiations with Israel.
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