February 13, 2013 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed on Tuesday a planned visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Middle East region slated for next month.

"We welcome this important visit for Obama, and also the U.S. efforts to break the ice in the peace process between the Palestinians and Israel," Abbas said following a meeting held here with U.S. Consul General Michael Ratney in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, a source told Xinhua that Ratney briefed Abbas on U. S. ideas to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which were stalled due to a dispute over Jewish settlement activities in the West Bank in 2010.

The ideas, which Abbas would study, include measures to expand the Palestinian National Authority (PNA)'s security control in the West Bank, release of some prisoners by Israel and transfer of the PNA's tax revenues that Israel holds.


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