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Kerry, Abbas meet in New York to discuss Gaza situation

Update: September, 24/2014 - 10:20

NEW YORK — US Secretary of State John Kerry have met with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to discuss the situation in Gaza, a state department official said.

The meeting in New York came on Tuesday as leaders converged for the United Nations General Assembly, and a day after Abbas gave a speech at Cooper Union vowing to present a new timetable for peace talks with Israel.

Kerry and Abbas agreed on the importance of providing humanitarian aid in Gaza, where a 50-day war with Israel destroyed homes and infrastructure in densely populated Gaza, leaving more than 100,000 Palestinians homeless in the long term, according to the United Nations.

The top US diplomat also reiterated Washington's support for a two-state solution and its willingness to support negotiations.

Speaking on Monday, Abbas drew parallels with the century-long US struggle for civil rights, saying he was bringing a message of peace.

The veteran Palestinian leader is set to address the annual UN General Assembly on Friday.

Palestinian leaders have said Abbas intends to propose a three-year deadline for the end of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Kerry's high-profile bid to hammer out a full peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinian Authority collapsed spectacularly in April amid bitter recriminations on both sides, despite more than a year of shuttle diplomacy. — AFP

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