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Israeli, Palestinian presidents held secret meeting: Report

Israeli, Palestinian presidents held secret meeting: Report

Jerusalem: Israeli President Shimon Peres held a secret meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas two months ago on resuming the peace talks between the two sides, a media report said.

Israeli and Palestinian sources said Peres met Abbas in Amman, Jordan and convinced the Palestinian leader that Jewish settlers might have to stay in a future Palestinian state, Xinhua cited the London-based Sunday Times as saying.

"He (Peres) convinced him to accept that West Bank settlers and Jewish residents of east Jerusalem could remain in their settlements but be subject to the Palestinian state," a source told the British newspaper.

Meanwhile, Peres Sunday congratulated Abbas in a phone conversation on the renewal of the peace process, which came to a halt in 2010 over Israel's expansion of settlement activities in the West Bank.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed the resumption of peace talks and said they were of "vital strategic interest for the state of Israel".

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who had visited the region six times in four months trying to mediate a resumption of the negotiations, Friday announced the two sides had agreed to restart direct talks.


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