Palestinians undecided on Kerry peace talks plan


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 18 July 2013

Palestinian leaders have ended a meeting to discuss a possible revival in peace talks with Israel without reaching a decision.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had briefed them on the latest US proposal to restart talks.

Reports suggest many present felt the plan did not do enough to ensure talks about borders would be based on pre-1967 ceasefire lines.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been in the region to discuss the plan.

Having extended his visit to the region by a night amid signs of progress, Mr Kerry will return to the US on Friday.

A State Department official said Mr Kerry would consult Israeli and Palestinian leaders before leaving, adding that the debate over reviving peace talks was “appropriate and encouraging”.

The White House later said President Barack Obama had spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by telephone, urging him to resume negotiations with the Palestinians “as soon as possible”.

The State Department has acknowledged that Mr Kerry is unlikely to be able to announce a breakthrough on his latest visit.

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