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Arab States Back Israel-Palestinian Peace Talk Proposal


Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo have agreed to support a U.S. proposal for indirect peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters Wednesday that members of the Arab League will back the talks for a period of four months.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is attending the Cairo meeting, has said he would abide by the Arab League's decision.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed the decision.

The announcement follows a U.S. offer to mediate discussions between the two sides in an effort to revive the stalled peace process.

On Tuesday, a U.S. State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, said Washington believes Israel and the Palestinians are "getting closer" to starting a dialogue.

Talks broke down over a year ago. One of the biggest disputes is Israel's continued settlement activity in territory that Palestinians claim for a future state.

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

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