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Arab Nations Approve Mideast Peace Talks

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Arab leaders have approved an American plan for indirect talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

The talks would be mediated by the U.S. and would be the first negotiations between the two sides in more than a year. Support for the talks from Arab nations clears the way for Palestinians to participate and raises pressure on Israel to reciprocate.

"Despite the lack of conviction in the seriousness of the Israeli side, the committee sees that it would give the indirect talks the chance as a last attempt and to facilitate the U.S. role," said Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, reading from a statement, according to the Associated Press.

The Wall Street Journal reports that settlement talks broke down in 2008 when Israel launched a military offensive against the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Journal also quotes an Israeli spokesman saying, ""Prime Minister Netanyahu has been calling continuously for the resumption of peace talks, and we hope now that the talks can move forward."