Abbas says Palestinians support US peace moves

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday reiterated his support for US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to revive peace talks with Israel.

During a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Ramallah, Abbas talked of the Palestinians' "commitment to the success of Kerry's efforts to save the peace process in order to restart serious talks leading to the end of the occupation and the establishment of a an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital".

Abbas said the cessation by Israel of "settlement activities and the liberation of prisoners would contribute to creating adequate conditions to launch serious talks", his office said.

Ashton also confirmed the EU's support for US efforts to re-launch the peace process, according to the statement.

On June 27, the US secretary of state will return to the Middle East with a stop in Jordan before making his fifth visit to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Special Middle East envoy Tony Blair on Wednesday called on Israel to take advantage of this "window of opportunity".

"Let's hope that over the coming weeks a plan can be put in place in which politics, economics and security are aligned. With Secretary John Kerry's fantastic energy and commitment, we're all working hard to accomplish this," Blair said at an annual conference organised by Israeli President Shimon Peres.