Deadlock may soon end on Middle East peace talks

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Jerusalem, Nov. 13 (ANI): Israel has signalled fresh hope for talks with the Palestine Authority following Palestinian officials postponing the elections in their territories indefinitely.The polls were originally scheduled to be held on January 24.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had recently announced that he would not run in the elections, but many world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu, have urged Abbas not to quit.

Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy phoned Abbas on Thursday to discuss conditions for the renewal of diplomatic talks.

Abbas has been demanding a full settlement freeze as a precondition for further talks - something rejected by both Israel and the US, the Jerusalem Post reports.

France has also spent a lot of its energy on jump-starting the stalled Israeli-Syrian peace talks, which it believes is a critical key to Middle East peace.

Sarkozy is expected to urge his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad to open direct talks with Israel, when the two men meet in Paris on Friday.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu told Sarkozy in Paris that he would speak with Syrian President "anytime, anywhere" and "without preconditions."

A government source clarified that the prime minister would be willing to talk directly with Assad, something that has not happened since Ehud Barak was in the post 10 years ago. (ANI)

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