The Associated Press
April 23, 2008 - 5:56pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will call for urgent international action to jump start Middle East peace talks when he meets US leader George W. Bush this week, a senior Palestinian official said on Wednesday.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki said Israel and Palestine last year agreed to try to reach a peace deal in 2008 and international pressure is needed if both sides are to meet objectives on the way to that goal.

Abbas will ask Bush for the United States, and other members of the Middle East "quartet" of negotiators, to pressure Israel to meet commitments to freeze Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank and ease checkpoints that limit Palestinian mobility.

During a speech to a Madrid to a political forum, Maliki said, "We want a clear and forceful intervention by the quartet so the two sides implement their obligations under the road map."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas agreed in Annapolis in November 2007 to begin peace talks and abide by a 2003 US-backed "road map" peace plan, under which Palestinians must rein in militants and Israel, among other things, must cease settlement activity.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017