Spanish royal meets Palestinian president

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Spanish Crown Prince Felipe restated his nation's support for an independent Palestinian state during talks on Tuesday with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, a local news agency said.

Prince Felipe, accompanied by his wife, Princess Letizia, met Abbas at his presidential headquarters in Ramallah as part of a tour of Israel and the West Bank.

The prince reiterated "Spain's position in support of the peace process and the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state alongside Israel," said a statement carried by official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

For his part, Abbas said the Palestinian Authority remained committed "to the peace process, based on legitimate international resolutions and international law," the statement said.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since late last year after an Israeli moratorium on settlement building expired. The Palestinians have refused to hold talks while Israel builds on land they want for their future state.

Abbas said during Tuesday's meeting that any peace process required "clear terms of reference," and stressed that "settlement activity in all its forms must stop for negotiations to begin."

During the meeting, which was attended by Spain's foreign minister, Abbas offered thanks for the "great support" he said Spain's king, government and people had offered the Palestinians.

© 2011 AFP

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