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Palestinians committed to 9 months of peace talks

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Palestinians to stay in peace talksThe Palestinians will stay in peace talks with Israel for the planned nine months despite their fierce opposition to Israel's settlement building, the Palestinian president said Monday.

The remarks by Mahmoud Abbas came at a news conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande, who urged Israel to halt settlement construction on lands the Palestinians seek for a future state.

Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the terms of a Palestinian state resumed in late July, with U.S. mediators saying at the time they envision a deal within nine months. Since then, Israel has announced plans for thousands more settlement apartments, sparking Palestinian outrage.

Abbas confirmed on Monday that his chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, submitted his resignation at one point, but said he hasn't accepted it so far.

He reiterated his opposition to settlement building, but said that "we are continuing the negotiations for nine months."


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