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Mideast peacemakers urge resumption of talks
Mideast peacemakers urge Israel, Palestinians to resume negotiations, reach deal by 2012
By The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ' The international diplomatic "Quartet" of Mideast peacemakers is calling for the Israelis and Palestinians to return to long-stalled negotiations and reach an agreement no later than next year.

The quartet members ' the U.S., the European Union, the U.N, and Russia ' said in a statement that the two parties should agree to an agenda and parameters for peace talks within a month and produce comprehensive proposals on territory and security within three months. The Quartet said it expected the parties to "have made substantial progress" within six months.

The statement was issued after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas formally sought U.N. membership and recognition for a state of Palestine, something vehemently opposed by Israel and the United States in the absence of a peace deal.

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