Arab ministers to meet April 9 on Israel-Palestinian talks
Published Wednesday 02/04/2014 (updated) 02/04/2014 23:11
CAIRO (AFP) -- The Arab League has called an emergency meeting of foreign ministers for April 9 on the floundering US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian, its chief Nabil al-Arabi announced Wednesday.
The meeting will discuss Israel's refusal to release Palestinian prisoners, a key sticking point in the negotiations, Arabi told reporters.
President Mahmoud Abbas requested the meeting, Arabi said, adding it would "examine developments in the light of Israel's refusal to release a fourth tranche of prisoners and extend talks."
Late on Tuesday, Abbas said he had begun steps to join several UN agencies and ratify international treaties, angering Israel and prompting US Secretary of State John Kerry to cancel a trip to Ramallah on Wednesday.
The announcement was a blow to Kerry's frenetic efforts to resolve the dispute over Palestinian prisoners and find a way to extend the fragile peace talks beyond a looming April 29 deadline.
Israel says its release of each batch of prisoners was conditional on progress in negotiations.