The Arab League has given its blessing for the Palestinian Authority to open direct talks with Israel, although the 'timing' is left in Abbas's hands. Yesterday both the PA and Hamas restated their position, objecting to any such talks while settlements continued to expand. Abbas obviously has to tread carefully following the Goldstone debacle when he initially sided with the US by calling for a suspension of judgment by the UN human rights council inquiry.
CAIRO (Reuters) – The Arab League said on Thursday it would back face-to-face peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel when the Palestinians believe the time is right.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, facing U.S. pressure to agree to such talks, has said he first wants progress in U.S.-mediated, indirect negotiations that began two months ago with the Arab League's blessing.
Abbas briefed the Arab League's peace process committee in Cairo on Thursday about the indirect talks, which will end in September according to a timeframe set by the League. more