Arab League ministerial meeting delayed

Dina Ezzat , Thursday 9 Dec 2010

Palestinian chief Abbas has delayed an Arab League ministerial meeting until the PA can "fully understand" Washington's position on the derailed talks

The Palestinian Authority (PA) asked the Arab League to delay a ministerial meeting that was scheduled for Saturday afternoon in order to examine the fate of the Middle East peace process after months-long efforts to coerce Israel into imposing new curbs on settlement construction failed, leaving direct peace talks deadlocked.

The delay, according to a Cairo-based Palestinian diplomat, is meant to give a chance for the PA to "fully understand the situation of the US Administration and to see if it has any new proposals."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is flying to Washington for talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The ministerial meeting had been scheduled to convene on Saturday as announced by the Arab League "upon the request" of the PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas held talks this morning with President Hosni Mubarak. He had received calls from Washington yesterday evening, according to the Palestinian diplomat, and "consulted with President Mubarak on the delay of the meeting".

"It was considered best to avoid taking a position before listening to what the Americans had to say," the Palestinian diplomat said.

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