US, Israel propose new talks to head off UN bid

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (Agencies) – Jordan Times. An Israeli official is distancing the government from a report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to negotiate the borders of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines with the West Bank.

Both Israeli and Palestinian officials acknowledged Tuesday they remain far from a breakthrough in efforts to revive peace talks, despite a frantic US push, the Associated Press reported.

An Israeli TV station said Monday that Netanyahu had accepted President Barack Obama’s proposal to commit to a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank.

The official says Netanyahu is willing to “show some flexibility” on the border issue, but won’t elaborate. He also says Netanyahu expects Palestinian flexibility on other issues.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a sensitive diplomatic matter.

Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse quoted an Israeli official as saying yesterday that Israel is willing to begin new Middle East peace talks using the 1967 lines as a basis for negotiations if the Palestinians drop their UN membership bid.

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