U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks to Qatar's foreign minister Khaled al-Attiya (on the phone) on July 25, 2014, from a hallway in a hotel in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. AFP PHOTO/POOL
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US Secretary of State John Kerry and other top diplomats from Europe and the Middle East began talks in Paris Saturday to press efforts for a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.Kerry met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and their counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Turkey and the European Union as a 12-hour "humanitarian" truce in Gaza entered into force.Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal is based in Qatar, while Turkey's Islamic-oriented prime minister has strongly criticised Israel's assault on Gaza as well as Egypt's role in trying to clinch a ceasefire.Hamas says any truce must include a guaranteed end to Israel's eight-year blockade of Gaza, while in Israel there are calls for any deal to include the demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip.
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