00:11 GMT15 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Palestine is ready to engage in talks under international auspices with Israel, subject to the latter dropping its unilateral annexation plans in the West Bank, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said during phone talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Thursday.

    "Palestine is ready to engage in serious negotiations with the Israeli government the moment it refrains from its unilateral annexation plan, to be sponsored by the Quartet and any other countries of the world", Abbas said, as quoted by the Palestinian Authority's news service WAFA.

    The Palestinian leader also expressed appreciation of Norway's support for the two-state solution, which Solberg confirmed Oslo was still committed to.

    The decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict got a new turn of diplomatic escalation this month, as Israel was expected to act on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's post-election promise to annex territories in the West Bank Israeli settlements, built for decades in defiance of international condemnation.

    The United Nations has been insisting on the so-called two-state solution, where Israel and Palestine will cohabit the disputed area peacefully and within mutually acceptable borders.

    In 2002, the International Quartet was established to facilitate the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the two-state solution, encircling Russia, the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States.

    Mahmoud Abbas, West Bank, Palestine, Israel
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