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Obama set to meet with Israeli, Palestinian leaders on Sep. 22

RIA Novosti

04:06 20/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 20 (RIA Novosti) - The president of the United States will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Tuesday in New York, international media agencies reported on Sunday.

President Barack Obama's joint meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas within the frames of the United Nations General Assembly will focus on efforts to resolve the Middle East conflict.

"These meetings will continue the efforts of President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Special Envoy George Mitchell to lay the groundwork for the relaunch of negotiations, and to create a positive context for those negotiations so that they can succeed," Reuters reported, quoting the White House as saying in a statement.

The White House Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, failed to reach agreement with Prime Minister Netanyahu on the issue of Jewish settlements earlier this week.

The issue of Jewish outposts has become the main obstacle to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, and a sticking point in relations with the United States, Israel's main strategic ally.

Under the internationally agreed roadmap for Middle East peace, Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement construction activity, and remove unauthorized outposts built since 2001.

The head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, said last Wednesday that Arab countries see no reason to normalize relations with Israel while Tel Aviv continues building illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.


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