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Turkey criticises Quartet plan to revive peace process

Turkey has criticised the Middle East Quartet plan to revive the Palestine-Israel peace process because it "ignores the UN recognition issue" and calls upon the Palestinians to go back to the negotiation table without requiring any prerequisites from Israel. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the Palestine issue does not need the new promises offered by the Quartet: "It needs practical steps and concrete results."

"Recognition of Palestine as a state and therefore a legal equal to Israel will make the solution easier," he added. "UN recognition will help to restore peace in the Middle East." The Quartet's statement released last Friday, said Mr Davutoglu, "was positive from a theoretical perspective, although it ignores the issue of the recognition of the Palestinian state."

At the end of the United Nations meeting during which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made an official application for full UN membership for Palestine, the Quartet invited the Palestinian and Israeli sides to a preliminary meeting within one month. The purpose, it said, is to agree on a time plan and a specific mechanism to guarantee the resumption of negotiations without conditions, and reach a peace agreement by the end of 2012.

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