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November 13, 2010 (KATAKAMI / HAARETZ) — Ahead of trip to U.S. next week, William Hague calls on Mahmoud Abbas to return to stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as soon as possible.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged Palestinians to rejoin Middle East peace talks, before discussions in the U.S. next week.
Hague said he told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call on Saturday that he was disappointed by Israeli plans to build new Jewish homes in East Jerusalem.
But he urged Abbas to return to the stalled talks as soon as possible. He said he would discuss the situation with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton during a visit to Washington next week.
U.S.-sponsored direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down on September 26 when a 10-month Israeli freeze on West Bank settlement construction expired. Abbas has said he would not conduct peace talks with Israel while settlement construction is taking place.
Earlier this month, Hague visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in his first visit to the region since taking office in May. (*)