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The Boston Globe

World

Mahmoud Abbas moves threaten to derail peace talks

Seeks to join 15 international organizations

JERUSALEM — The Middle East peace talks verged on a breakdown Tuesday night, after President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority defied the United States and Israel by taking concrete steps to join 15 international agencies — a move to gain the benefits of statehood outside the negotiations process.

The move, which appeared to catch US and Israeli officials by surprise, prompted Secretary of State John F. Kerry to cancel a planned return to the region on Wednesday, in which he had expected to complete an agreement extending negotiations through 2015.

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