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Mideast negotiators eye chance for new peace talks
Mideast peacemakers seek new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The "Quartet" of Mideast peacemakers is appealing to Israel and the Palestinians to take confidence-building steps to improve the atmosphere for negotiations.

Meeting in Washington on Wednesday, senior officials from the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union also called for the international community to help the Palestinians meet their budget needs. They expressed concern about the "increasing fragility" of the Palestinian Authority, which needs $1.1 billion in financial aid.

The Quartet urged both Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from actions that could undermine trust, including settlement construction by Israel. In addition, it condemned rocket attacks on Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Peace talks broke down in 2010 and have not resumed despite low-level contacts between the two sides in Jordan in January.

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