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Too early to speak of progress in indirect talks with Israel - Abbas

© RIA Novosti . Maxim Bogodvid / Go to the photo bankPalestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas - Sputnik International
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Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said it was too early to speak of any progress in the U.S.-mediated "proximity talks" with Israel.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said it was too early to speak of any progress in the U.S.-mediated "proximity talks" with Israel, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

U.S. special envoy George Mitchell arrived at the Middle East earlier this week to convey letters between PNA leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bid to start the direct talks.

"So far we are unable to say if there is progress or not, but we hope that we move towards reaching an agreement on borders and security within four months," he said.

Mitchell met with Abbas on Wednesday and Israeli Prime Minister on Thursday.

The Palestinian leader said the sides held two round of talks: the first one focused on border issues and security, the second - on legal issues.

Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks came to a halt in December 2008, when Israel launched an attack on the Gaza Strip in a bid to put an end to the firing of homemade rockets at southern Israel by Palestinian militants based in the enclave. The conflict left 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

Palestinians have so far cited ongoing Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, as a main obstacle to the peace process.

GAZA, May 23 (RIA Novosti)

 

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