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Diplomats: US Withdraws UN Resolution on Mideast Peace Process


Diplomats say the United States has withdrawn a U.N. Security Council draft resolution endorsing this week's Israeli-Palestinian agreement to re-start peace talks.

The reason for the decision was not immediately clear.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, presented the draft resolution late Thursday. He said there was "enormous support" for the pledges Israeli and Palestinian leaders made at a U.S.-sponsored Middle East conference on Tuesday in Annapolis, Maryland.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday he did not know the details of the draft resolution, but that he saw it as a serious effort by the United States to re-start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The talks would be aimed at achieving a two-state settlement by the end of 2008.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has hailed the peace conference as "a new beginning" in efforts to achieve peace between Israelis and the Palestinians.

In a statement marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People Thursday, Mr. Ban said implementation of the two-state solution for the Mideast conflict is paramount.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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