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Middle East peace talks nearing collapse

By Jeffrey Rindskopf,

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cancelled a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that was scheduled for Wednesday, a sign that the peace talks may be failing in their effort to bring peace to the region.

Prior to the cancellation, according to Time, Abbas signed papers to induct the Palestinian authority into 15 international United Nations-related organizations, a move that American and Israeli authorities had been heavily opposed to.

"It is our right to turn to U.N. institutions and we had postponed it for nine months and never agreed to give up that right," Mr. Abbas said.

Kerry's cancellation, many are speculating, may be in response to Abbas signing the documents, but he denied such rumors.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, this incident comes eight months into peace talks between Israel and Palestine. Kerry flew to Israel, interrupting a planned visit to Europe, in an effort to rescue the peace talks, as the two sides are divided on a number of key issues, including the release of convicted Palestinian spies from Israeli jails.

In addition, the potential breakdown of negotiations would raise questions about the fate of former U.S. naval intelligence agent Jonathan Pollard, convicted by Palestinian authorities in 1985 of spying for Israel.

 
 

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