Israel for 4-way summit on talks with Palestinians: Official

Ramallah, April 27 (IANS) A senior Palestinian official said Saturday that Israel has proposed holding a four-way summit to sponsor the resumption of the stalled Mideast peace talks with the Palestinians.

US Secretary of State John Kerry had briefed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in Turkey last week on details of the proposal, in which US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jordanian King Abdullah II along with Abbas will participate, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Abbas informed Kerry that he welcomes the idea but before joining any summit, Israel has to implement its commitments, he added.

The Palestinians demanded Israel to halt settlement building in the Palestinian territories and east Jerusalem, recognize the principle of the two-state solution and release prisoners in Israeli jails, who were detained before 1993.

The Israeli proposal was made almost one month after Kerry’s visit to the region to try to resume the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians which had stopped in October 2010.

Meanwhile, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat declined to make any comment on the proposal, saying: “The Palestinian stance is clear that the international efforts to resume the peace talks are welcomed but need an Israeli commitment to halt settlement and recognize the borders of the Palestinian state.”

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