Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in Jordan provide an "important opportunity" for reviving full peace negotiations, but he played down prospects for success.
"We will keep coordinating with King Abdullah II, and we welcome any chances provided by Jordan to back peace efforts," Abbas said after meeting the monarch in Amman, according to a palace statement.
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"Any chance must be taken advantage of, no matter how weak hopes are," he added, a day after Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held a second meeting in a week to find a way to get back to peace talks following more than 15 months.
Abbas expressed hopes that the two sides will meet on January 26 "to refer to the legal foundation that allows them to return to negotiations."
'We welcome any chances provided by Jordan.' Abbas and Abdullah (Photo: AP)
The date was set by the diplomatic Quartet of the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia for both parties to present their proposals on borders and security with an eye to resuming direct talks shortly afterwards.
"At our second meeting today we continued our efforts to explore the positions of both parties to resume the negotiations," a Palestinian official close to the Amman talks told AFP on Monday.
The first round of the talks were held in Amman last Tuesday between Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat and Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho. Those talks were described as positive.
King Abdullah is expected to travel to Washington next week for talks with US President Barack Obama. The monarch said the talks will focus on jumpstarting the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Central Committee, said Monday's talks in Jordan did not yield results. "The Israelis are sticking to their uncompromising position," she said, adding that the Jewish state "has not accepted the Quartet's demand to reveal its position regarding borders and security arrangements."
AP, AFP contributed to the report
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