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Abbas and Saudi king discuss stalled peace talks

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) speaks to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Riyadh October 22, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Saudi Press Agency/Handout )

October 22, 2010 (KATAKAMI / FRANCE24 / AFP) – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas held talks on Friday with King Abdullah that focused on the stalled peace process with Israel, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported.

They discussed “developments in the Palestinian issue and efforts exerted to put the peace process back on the right path,” it said.

The two leaders also discussed the “need for the international community to assume responsibility to achieve a just and comprehensive peace that would guarantee the Palestinian people’s right to establish its independent state on its national soil, with Jerusalem as a capital,” it added.

Abbas left Riyadh on Friday afternoon, the agency added.

A Palestinian diplomat in Riyadh told AFP Thursday that Abbas’s visit “comes at a critical stage in the negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

The diplomat pointed to Israel’s refusal to extend a moratorium on Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem that expired on September 26.

On October 9, foreign ministers of the Arab League, in which Saudi Arabia plays a leading role, said they would wait one more month to see if the direct peace talks can be restarted.

Since the settlement moratorium ended, Jewish settlers have begun building at least 600 homes, a pace four times faster than before the freeze began last year, the Israeli activist group Peace Now said on Thursday.

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