U.S. Proposes Direct, Low-Level Mideast Talks

(Reuters-Washington Post) Ali Sawafta - PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is studying a U.S. proposal for talks between the Palestinians and Israel at a level below full-scale negotiations between their leaders, a Palestinian official said on Monday. Palestinian sources said U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell had also proposed confidence-building measures including the transfer of authority from the Israeli army to the Palestinians in more of the West Bank's territory, the removal of some Israeli checkpoints, and release of a number of Palestinian prisoners. Israeli officials, noting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had on Sunday welcomed "new ideas" for talks from Mitchell, said their government stood ready to take part in U.S.-mediated discussions with Palestinian officials.

2010-01-26 08:14:43

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