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PLO agrees, again, to indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

In what's being called a minor victory for President Obama, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed Saturday to indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks. But will 'shuttle diplomacy' fare any better this time?

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem, Sunday. After the PLO agree to talks, Netanyahu says the newly launched indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks must move to direct negotiations as soon as possible.

Baz Ratner/AP

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The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) formally announced on Sunday the start of indirect peace talks with Israel's right-wing government, ending a 17-month hiatus that followed the 2009 election that brought to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power.

The Israeli-Palestinian talks will be mediated by US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who will shuttle between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah, the seat of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's government.

The PLO's Executive Committee, the body that oversees peace talks, approved a return to negotiations on Saturday despite deep seated skepticism fanned by Israeli expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In four months, the talks will be reassessed.

IN PICTURES: Israel settlements


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