Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in the West Bank city of Ramallah for talks on the stalled peace process. Amman is seeking ways of coaxing Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to return to talks, Jordan's top diplomat said. © Mohamad Torokman - AFP/POOL
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh
AFP
Last updated: March 7, 2012

Jordan pushing for fresh Israeli-Palestinian talks

Amman is seeking ways of coaxing Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to return to talks, Jordan's top diplomat said on Wednesday after meeting Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Negotiators from both sides held five rounds of "exploratory talks" in January under the sponsorship of Jordan and the Middle East peacemaking Quartet with the aim of finding a way back to direct negotiations which collapsed in 2010.

But the talks ended inconclusively, with the Palestinians accusing Israel of failing to present concrete proposals on borders and security as requested by the Quartet, which groups US, UN, EU and Russian diplomats.

"The exploratory talks were aimed at creating a favourable climate for restarting direct negotiations between the two parties, and Jordan is continuing its efforts to ensure the appropriate conditions for a resumption of talks," Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told reporters on a visit to Ramallah.

"There will be other meetings in the near future," he added.

Judeh said he had updated Abbas about his recent visits to the United States and Russia, and had passed him a message from Jordan's King Abdullah II, without giving any further details.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, who also attended the press conference, said that Jordan's efforts to bring the sides back together "had not failed."

"It was clear from the start that these were exploratory meetings and that these efforts are still under way," Erakat said.

But he reiterated the Palestinian demand for Israel to commit to a freeze on settlement activity and to recognise the 1967 lines as the basis for negotiations on borders.

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