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Arabs agree to Israel-Palestinian talks

world Updated: Jul 29, 2010 22:25 IST
AFP
Middle East

Arab officials agreed on Thursday to the holding of direct Middle East peace negotiations and left it up to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to decide when to start talks with Israel, the Qatari prime minister and foreign minister said.

Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, who chaired a meeting of foreign ministers and representatives, spoke in response to a question about whether they had given Abbas a green light to start talks.

"I'll be clear. There is an agreement but with the understanding of what will be discussed and how the direct negotiations will be conducted. And we will leave the assessment of the position to the Palestinian president as to when the conditions allow the beginning of such negotiations," he said.