Leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have given their backing for indirect peace talks with Israel. Saturday's decision came after a three-hour meeting of PLO and Fatah officials in the West Bank. It was announced by Jibril Rajoub, a leading Fatah member.
The decision was expected since Abbas has said he is interested in pursuing such negotiations. The decision removes the final obstacle to the Obama administration's first sustained on-the-ground peace effort. Obama envoy George Mitchell will shuttle between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders for up to four months to try to narrow the vast differences on what a Palestinian state should look like.