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IBSA welcomes Palestinian, Israeli direct talks
Saturday August 24, 2013 0:11 AM, IANS

IBSA - the forum of India, Brazil and South Africa - Friday welcomed the announcement of direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis and hoped the US-backed effort would lead to the "full and overdue realisation" of an independent Palestine.

The foreign ministers of IBSA also announced support to the mediation efforts undertaken by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The foreign ministers reaffirmed that resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a prerequisite for building a sustainable and lasting peace in the Middle East region.

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota and their South Africa counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, after consultations, issued a statement announcing support to the Israel-Palestine talks.

It termed the announcement of "direct final status negotiations" between Palestinians and Israelis as an encouraging development, one that has the potential for reverting the deadlock and paralysis that have plagued the peace process in recent years.

"We hope this renewed effort will lead to the full and overdue realization of a two-state solution based on 1967 borders," said the statement.

The statement also noted with satisfaction the decision of Israel to release 104 Palestinian prisoners and the announcement that both sides are "committed to reaching a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months. Such an agreement should culminate in the full realization of an independent Palestinian State. We call on the parties to adhere strictly to this timetable".

It called on the UN Security Council to fully exercise its functions under the UN Charter, with regard to the Palestinian Question.

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