Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, pictured in 2011, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke on Wednesday about the need for consultations over stalled peace talks, Abbas's spokesman said. © Abbas Momani - AFP/File
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas
AFP
Last updated: March 22, 2012

Abbas and Clinton to discuss upcoming Quartet meeting

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke on Wednesday about the need for consultations over stalled peace talks, Abbas's spokesman said.

Nabil Abu Rudeina said Clinton had telephoned Abbas ahead of a meeting in Washington next month of the diplomatic Quartet that is promoting a peace deal.

Clinton and Abbas underlined the "need to pursue consultations and contacts between the two parties over the problems of the region," Abu Rudeina said, while announcing that US envoy David Hill would be travelling there in the near future.

On Monday, US President Barack Obama called Abbas and assured him that the peace process remains a top priority for him, Abu Rudeina said at the time.

Abu Rudeina said the leaders also discussed exploratory talks that Palestinian and Israeli officials held in Amman earlier this year, as well as reconciliation efforts between Abbas's Fatah party and the rival Hamas movement.

Talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen since September 2010, and the decades-old conflict has become overshadowed by the uprising in neighbouring Syria.

Negotiators from both sides held five rounds of exploratory talks in January, but the talks ended inconclusively.

The Palestinians accused Israel of failing to present concrete proposals on borders and security as requested by the Quartet, which groups the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States.

The looming US presidential election in November has clouded prospects for any rapid breakthrough in the process, analysts have said.

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