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Netanyahu warns Palestine against unilateral steps

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem October 24, 2010. Netanyahu urged the Palestinians on Sunday not to take unilateral steps towards statehood, saying Israel was working closely with Washington on ways to restart peace talks. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Sebastian Scheiner/Pool )

October 24, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned Palestinian government against attempts to replace the direct Israeli-Palestinian talks with unilateral actions.

Palestinians have sounded ideas of alternative ways of settling the Middle East conflict in circumvention of Israel amid stagnation of the direct negotiations.

Direct talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resumed on September 2 in Washington, after an almost two-year hiatus but are on the verge of breaking down over the issue of Israeli construction in the occupied West Bank.

“We expect that the Palestinians will fulfill their obligation to carry on direct talks. I believe that any attempt to bypass the talks turning to various international organizations is unrealistic and could not give an additional impulse to the diplomatic process,” Netanyahu told a governmental meeting on Sunday.

The Israeli prime minister said he seeks for a solution which would allow Israel and Palestine to reset the negotiation process and expressed hope that such a solution would be found soon.

“Our goal is not only to resume the [negotiation] process but to create such conditions in which it [the negotiation process] will not ground to a halt after several weeks or months, but will continue as ceaseless dialogue during about a year,” Netanyahu said.

“Only direct talks may lead to peace and, I hope, we will soon return to it.”

TEL AVIV, October 24 (RIA Novosti)

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