Bumpy road ahead for Israeli-Palestinian direct talks

15:41, September 03, 2010      

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by Xinhua Writer Ran Wei

The direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that started in Washington Thursday are likely to move on a bumpy road, analysts say.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched the talks, hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to find an exit out of a 20-month standoff.

They expect to solve the six-decade Middle East conflict with one-year-long talks. But many analysts said that would be a really daunting challenge, despite the leaders' ceremonial handshakes and smiles before the cameras.

STRONG VOWS FOR PEACE

At the opening session of the direct talks, Clinton said she understands it isn't easy for both leaders to sit down face-to-face at the negotiation table.

"You each have taken an important step toward freeing your peoples from the shackles of a history we cannot change and moving toward a future of peace and dignity that only you can create," Clinton said.

She promised the United States will be an "active and sustained" partner to help the two sides reach a peace agreement.

Both Netanyahu and Abbas said they are strongly committed to the peace effort in their remarks at the direct talks.


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