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Abbas to meet Kerry Sunday in Jordan: Palestinian source

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is to meet on Sunday in Amman with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is pushing for a renewal of peace talks, a Palestinian official said.

"US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with president Abbas next Sunday in Amman," he told AFP on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

After meeting Kerry, Abbas would on Monday travel to Qatar for a meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative committee for talks likely to focus on US efforts to revive the stalled peace process, the official said.

Israeli press reports said Kerry would arrive in Israel on Saturday night for talks with the leadership, but there was no confirmation from the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose spokesman refused to comment on the issue.

Kerry, who took up his post on February 1, made his first visit to the region alongside US President Barack Obama last month, holding one-on-one talks with the Israeli and Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem and Amman on March 24.

"I think the stage has been set for the possibilities that the parties can hopefully find a way to negotiations," Kerry said in Baghdad a day later, describing the meetings as "a good beginning."

Direct peace talks broke down just weeks after they were started in September 2010 in a bitter row over Israel's settlement building.

Since then, the Palestinians say they will not return to the table without a settlement freeze, while Israel has agreed to resume talks only if there are no such pre-conditions.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130403/abbas-meet-kerry-sunday-jordan-palestinian-source