Emir of Qatar tells Israel to show 'more wisdom'

29th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Israel should demonstrate "more wisdom" in the Middle East peace process, the emir of Qatar said on Wednesday as talks with the Palestinians teetered close to collapse.

"The Israeli side should strive for more wisdom and allow a Palestinian state to be created, which is in the interests of security and stability in the region," Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said after talks in Germany.

Middle East peace talks looked set to fall apart after Israel refused to extend a 10-month ban on new settlement construction in the occupied West Bank that expired on Sunday.

The Palestinians have delayed a decision on whether or not to quit the talks until after October 4, when Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will meet Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.

US envoy George Mitchell held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel on Wednesday.

The emir's comments followed talks in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who for her part said it was "in everybody's interest" that direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians continue.

"This requires of course a readiness to compromise. We believe that the Arab side, and of course the Arab peace initiative, has played a role in (the talks) taking place. But they should be continued," Merkel told reporters.

© 2010 AFP

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