Obama urges Israel, Palestine to ensure talks pushed toward peace

08:21, May 12, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Israel and the Palestinians to avoid from taking actions that undermine mutual trust and ensure their indirect talks be moved toward a comprehensive peace.

Earlier on Tuesday, Obama spoke with Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for discussing the resumption of talks between the PNA and the Israeli government, which have been stalled since December 2008.

The two discussed the need for both parties to negotiate seriously and in good faith, and to move from proximity talks to direct negotiations as soon as possible in order to reach an agreement on permanent status issues, said a White House statement.

President Obama warned that he would "hold both sides accountable for actions that undermine trust during the talks," reiterated his strong support for the establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state living in peace and security with Israel.

Under the pressure mounted by the Obama administration, the Israeli government and the PNA resumed their talks earlier this week, although in an indirect way mediated by U.S. special envoy George Mitchell, ending a 17-month-long stalemate.

Obama has urged both sides to resume the talks in order to reach a permanent agreement that leads to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. But the two sides refused the call because of dispute over Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Chairman Abbas insists that the talks shall not resume until the Israeli government totally freezes the Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank, while the Israeli side blames Abbas of setting condition for resuming the talks and vows to ensure the "natural growth" of the Jewish settlements.

At least 450,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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