Clinton meets Israeli, Palestinian leaders on Mideast peace

09:35, September 01, 2010      

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday met separately with Palestinian and Israeli leaders before they begin a fresh round of direct peace talks in Washington on Thursday, the State of Department said.

Clinton first met with Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas at his hotel near Washington, and is scheduled to meet later Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, State of Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said at a press briefing, terming the meeting "preparatory."

"We will be talking about all of the issues inherent in the process," Crowley said. "We will be clarifying today where the parties stand in advance of the meetings that they'll have. We want to see not just a successful relaunch tomorrow but an understanding that, going forward, the leaders will meet on a regular basis."

U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan King Abdullah to participate in the events scheduled for Wednesday at the White House, the two Arabian countries that have peace deals with Israel.

Crowley said Clinton also met Tuesday Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh as well as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, representative of the "Quartet" of Mideast peace mediators -- the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia.

Secretary Clinton will host direct negotiations Thursday between Abbas and Netanyahu at U.S. State Department.

President Obama seeks a two-state peace deal for the Palestinians and Israelis within one year, clearing all the sticking points in the process which include the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the refugees, the fate of Jerusalem and the security of Israel.

Talking about U.S. expectations of Thursday's peace talks, Crowley said that "We're not going to solve everything on Thursday. What we want to see is a commitment to aggressively pursue these negotiations. We will do our part. We expect the leaders to do their part. And from this, over the coming weeks and months, we will try to move both sides closer to an agreement that ends the conflict."

He said the United States will be "a full participant" in the process, but will not have a representative in every meeting.

Source: Xinhua


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