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West Bank meeting canceled after Israel bars envoys

By Guy Azriel and Enas Muthaffar, CNN
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Mon August 6, 2012
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki described the barring of envoys as
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki described the barring of envoys as "a total Israeli diplomatic failure."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The Palestinian foreign minister calls it "a total Israeli diplomatic failure"
  • NEW: Israeli official: "Nothing constructive" has ever come out of the group's meeting
  • Foreign minister: Envoys are from countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel
  • Palestinian officials are discussing alternative locations for the meeting

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Diplomatic talks in the West Bank were canceled Sunday after Israel denied entry to five envoys, the Palestinian foreign ministry said.

Palestinian officials were discussing alternative locations for the Non-Aligned Movement committee meeting, the ministry said.

The envoys banned from attending the meeting were foreign ministers from Algeria, Cuba, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

"We decided, given the circumstances, that those representatives of countries that have no diplomatic relationships with Israel will not be allowed to fly to Ramallah from Jordan," he said.

Blair on the Palestinian peace process

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki described the move as "a total Israeli diplomatic failure."

"It seems that the Israeli leadership couldn't tolerate any further the accumulative successes being made by the Palestinian leadership and particularly the Palestinian diplomacy in terms of making tremendous gains and achievements (on) all fronts. That's why they have taken a decision to undermine the possibility of holding the meeting, of having a successful meeting," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said.

Palmor, the spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry, said "nothing constructive" had ever come out of the group's Palestine committee.

"It would be foolish to expect anything constructive this time around from the committee given their venue and past record," he said.

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