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US presses Abbas to resume direct peace talks

RAMALLAH — A senior US envoy warned the Palestinian president that he must move quickly to direct talks with Israel if he wants President Barack Obama's help in setting up a Palestinian state, according to an internal Palestinian document obtained by The Associated Press on Monday.
The 36-page memo, sent to senior Palestinian officials, advised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resist growing US pressure, warning that rescinding his conditions for face-to-face negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be "political suicide."
The Palestinian memo was distributed just before a crucial meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on Thursday.
The ministers are set to decide whether they favor a move to direct talks or support the Palestinian position that U.S. shuttle diplomacy should be allowed to run its course. Indirect talks, with US envoy George Mitchell meeting separately with Abbas and Netanyahu, began in early May and were to last up to four months, until early September.
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