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Arab Leaders Propose Palestinian-Israeli Peace Talks

  • VOA News

Arab government ministers meeting in Cairo have proposed a new international peace conference to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

The ministers said Sunday the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Israel and Arab countries would be invited to attend the peace conference. They said the talks should conform with existing international resolutions and the principlel of trading land for peace.

The Arab ministers also called for an end to a financial blockade of the Palestinians imposed by the international community earlier this year after the Islamist Hamas movement won Palestinian elections.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa said Arab banks should no longer abide by the restrictions, and called on them to transfer money to the Palestinians.

In Gaza Sunday, Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction resumed talks on forming a new Palestinian government both sides hope will ease concerns of international donors and end a boycott of foreign aid.

The United States and some other countries consider Hamas a terrorist organization, and have called for its elected representatives in the Palestinian territories to renounce violence and recognize Israel.

The United States and Europe cut off nearly one billion dollars in aid after Hamas won parliamentary elections earlier this year. Western officials regard Hamas as a terrorist organization.
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