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Abbas backs NATO peacekeeping role after Israeli withdrawal

While Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been adamantly against interim agreements, he has said he would consider a maximum three-year Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley if a peace deal is reached.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas talk at a meeting at the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 4, 2014.       REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool    (WESTBANK) - RTX171OW

The Dec. 15 visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry was cut short because of inclement weather. But Kerry, who brought with him four-star Gen. George Allen, has enough time to pass on the bad news. After Allen presented the US-designed security plan for the eastern borders of the future Palestinian state, Kerry transmitted the bad news. The Israelis are insisting that Israeli boots will stay in the Jordan Valley for 10, 15 and maybe as many as 40 years, he reportedly said.

After Kerry left, and as has become routine, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called in what is often referred to as the “Palestinian leadership.” The loose term refers to trusted senior Palestinian officials, advisers and senior media personalities who are often debriefed and consulted with. If any Fatah Central Committee members are in Ramallah, they are usually invited, and some — but not all — PLO executive committee members are often welcomed to these meetings.

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