Arab ministers discuss reviving peace process

An Arab ministerial committee met on Monday in Qatar to discuss ways of reviving the stalled peace process between the Palestinians and Israel, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said.

The meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee is being attended by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, and is being chaired by Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani.

"This meeting is to talk about the Arab delegation that will head to (the United Nations in) New York with the aim of reviving the peace process," the League secretary general told reporters ahead of the talks.

The proposal to send a delegation to New York was agreed during the most recent Arab summit, held in Doha last month.

Abbas told visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday that Israel should freeze settlement construction and release prisoners, especially those arrested before the 1993 Oslo Accords, before resuming peace talks.

Kerry said in ISrael on Monday he was intensely focused on a "quiet strategy" to breathe new life into the peace process, but he will not be rushed.

He told reporters he believed it "would be irresponsible... not to explore thoroughly the possibilities for moving forward" as he seeks to overcome decades of mistrust between Israel and the Palestinians.

Abbas also wants Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to present a map of the borders of a future Palestinian state before talks can resume.

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