Arab and African leaders take part in a summit meeting in Kuwait City on November 19, 2013
Arab and African leaders take part in a summit meeting in Kuwait City on November 19, 2013 © Yasser al-Zayyat - AFP
Arab and African leaders take part in a summit meeting in Kuwait City on November 19, 2013
AFP
Last updated: November 19, 2013

Arab ministers blame Israel for peace talks crisis

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An Arab ministerial committee charged with monitoring the Middle East peace process blamed Israel for the impasse in negotiations with the Palestinians after a Tuesday meeting in Kuwait.

"Israel is responsible for the deep crisis in negotiations because of its intensifying of settlements (construction), repeated attacks against the sacred Al-Aqsa mosque (in Jerusalem), seizing of Palestinian lands, and strengthening the blockade against Gaza," it said in a statement.

The committee, which is chaired by Qatar and includes 13 Arab countries, met in Kuwait on the sidelines of the Arab-African summit in the presence of Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

The latest peace talks, launched at Washington's urging in July, have shown little sign of progress, with the Palestinians objecting to repeated Israeli announcements of new settlement construction on occupied territory.

A major spike in settlement announcements last week prompted the resignation of the entire Palestinian negotiating team.

But on Sunday Abbas told AFP that peace talks with Israel would continue for the full nine months agreed with Washington -- "regardless of what happens on the ground."

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