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Palestinian U.N. moves designed to avoid U.S. retaliation

By Noah Browning RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed onto 15 international conventions on Tuesday, he shocked the U.S. sponsors of troubled Middle East peace talks. But the move was carefully limited to avoid American retaliation. Abbas's action may have been designed more as a symbolic act of defiance to shore up his tenuous standing among Palestinians frustrated at the diplomatic impasse with Israel over their goal of statehood than a knife in the heart of peacemaking.

Abbas signs international conventions, jeopardizing peace moves

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed more than a dozen international conventions on Tuesday citing anger at Israel's delay of a prisoner release, in a move jeopardized U.S. efforts to salvage fragile peace talks. His unexpected decision came just a day before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had been due to travel to Ramallah for talks aimed at finalizing a complex, three-way deal that would enable the talks to continue into 2015.

Obama presses Abbas to help break stalemate with Israel

By Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama pressed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday to help break the stalemate in U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel, saying leaders on both sides must take political risks before an April deadline.

Kerry urges Abbas to make 'tough decisions' on peace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday "to make the tough decisions that will be necessary" before an April 29 deadline for a peace deal with Israel, a U.S. official said. President Barack Obama meets Abbas on Monday, nearly two weeks after the U.S. leader sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he was prepared to make a "historic peace" with the Palestinians but offered no concessions in public.

As hope withers, Palestinian president heads to Washington

By Crispian Balmer JERUSALEM (Reuters) - With pessimism growing by the day over the future of Middle East peace talks, U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington on Monday to try to break the stalemate. The deadline for the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, aimed at ending their entrenched conflict, expires next month and Washington is eager to persuade the two sides to prolong their discussions within a new framework.

As hope withers, Palestinian president heads to Washington

By Crispian Balmer JERUSALEM (Reuters) - With pessimism growing by the day over the future of Middle East peace talks, U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington on Monday to try to break the stalemate. The deadline for the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, aimed at ending their entrenched conflict, expires next month and Washington is eager to persuade the two sides to prolong their discussions within a new framework.

Palestinian leader lashes out at rival, political tensions flare

By Ali Sawafta RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused one of his main rivals, Mohammed Dahlan, of involvement in six murders, hinting that he might also be behind the death of former leader Yasser Arafat. Dahlan, who lives in exile in the Gulf, denied the allegations of his arch foe Abbas, their bitter row now playing out publicly across the Palestinian media and on social media.

We don't want to "flood" Israel with Palestinian refugees: Abbas

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Addressing a sticking point in U.S.-brokered peace talks, President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday dismissed charges by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he wanted to "flood" Israel with Palestinian refugees. Abbas spoke to about 300 Israeli students in the West Bank city of Ramallah two weeks before Netanyahu meets President Barack Obama in Washington as an April deadline looms in negotiations for a two-state solution.

We don't want to "flood" Israel with Palestinian refugees: Abbas

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Addressing a sticking point in U.S.-brokered peace talks, President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday dismissed charges by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he wanted to "flood" Israel with Palestinian refugees. Abbas spoke to about 300 Israeli students in the West Bank city of Ramallah two weeks before Netanyahu meets President Barack Obama in Washington as an April deadline looms in negotiations for a two-state solution.

Palestinian leader urges world powers to rein in Israeli settlements

By Matt Spetalnick UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that "time is running out" for Middle East peace efforts and urged world powers to rein in Israeli settlement construction that he warned could undermine U.S.-sponsored negotiations. In an address to an annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, Abbas committed to negotiating with Israel in good faith but he also painted what he called a "dispiriting and bleak" picture for peace prospects.
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