Arab League may drop support for Indirect Peace Talks

Israel's ill timed decision to extend settlement construction just when indirect talks were to start was bound to cause problems. Perhaps Israel does not even want to talk. No one is sending rockets in their direction right now nor are there any or many other attacks so the Israelis may see no reason to negotiate. Things are going fine for them. The Gazans are safely in their jail surrounded by Israel--except for Egypt which co-operates with Israel in keeping Gazans penned up..

Arab League Considers Dropping Support For Talks

The Arab League recommended on Wednesday to withdraw its support for indirect talks between Palestinians and Israelis due to recent announcements of new settlement building in east Jerusalem.

The league's peace initiative committee's decision is only a recommendation and a final decision will have to be made by the foreign ministers of the Arab nations.

The March 3 decision by Arab foreign ministers to back the U.S.-sponsored indirect talks with Israel gave Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas the political cover he needed to restart peace negotiations after 14 month hiatus.

"In case of the failure to stop the Israeli measures immediately ... the committee concludes that the proposed talks are irrelevant," the committee's statement said, calling for a convening of foreign ministers to reconsider their support.

Israel's approval of 1,600 new housing units to be built in East Jerusalem shortly after Abbas agreed to resume talks has been widely condemned by the Palestinians and visiting Vice President Joe Biden.

The committee recommended linking the cessation of plans to build the settlement housing units to any resumption of talks.

No date was given for the proposed meeting of Arab foreign ministers.


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