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Abbas holds urgent talks ahead of UN settler vote

Palestinian president Abou Mazen called an urgent PA session prior to the Security Council vote on settlement building

AFP , Friday 18 Feb 2011
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Reuters)
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President Mahmoud Abbas called an urgent session of the Palestinian leadership on Friday after a top-level US bid to halt an appeal to the UN Security Council over settlements.

Abbas was to convene members of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the central committee of his Fatah movement for talks in the evening, just hours ahead of a Security Council vote in New York, officials said.

The meeting was called in the wake of a late-night phone conversation between Abbas and US President Barack Obama in which they spoke about the vote on a resolution condemning Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem and calling for them to be halted.

"During the conversation, they reviewed ... the question of taking settlement activities before the UN Security Council," presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP in Ramallah.

Several ideas were raised during the conversation, which lasted nearly an hour, and they agreed to continue consultations, he said, without elaborating.

The draft resolution condemns Israeli settlement activity in line with the policy of the international community, including the United States, but Washington does not believe such issues should be tackled within the Security Council, which meets in open session Friday from 3 pm New York time (2000 GMT).

US-brokered peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians stalled in later 2010 over an intractable dispute about Israeli settlement on Palestinian land.
The Palestinians have refused to continue negotiating while Israel builds on their.

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