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Palestinian peace talks could expand

Reuters
Saturday, February 10, 2018

UNITED NATIONS - A collective Middle East peace process could be led by the UN Security Council, a "Quartet" expanded to include China and Arab states or an international conference, the Palestinian UN envoy said on Thursday, all options involving the United States.

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour laid out the possibilities after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month said he would only accept a broad, internationally backed panel to broker peace talks with Israel.

"We're saying a collective approach involving several players at minimum would have a better chance of succeeding than the approach of only one country that is so close to Israel," Mr Mansour told reporters.

The Palestinians are furious at US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December and cut to US funding for the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

Mr Mansour said a collective peace process could "be in the format of the (UN) Security Council, that would be something that we will look at seriously."

"The Quartet plus China plus the League of Arab States plus maybe others ... we could also look at that. Or the collective process might be of the nature of the French Paris conference or international conference," he said.

The so-called Quartet sponsoring the stalled peace process comprises the United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union, while in January last year France invited dozens of countries to Paris to show support for a peace process.








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