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US Ambassador to UN to Embark on Mideast Talks

By VOA News
19 October 2009

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is traveling to Israel Monday in a bid to advance peace efforts in the Middle East.

During her three-day trip, Susan Rice is to hold bilateral talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

She will also deliver remarks Wednesday at a conference hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres.

The United States is trying to get Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace negotiations.

Ambassador Rice's visit comes as Israel is irate about a U.N. report that accuses both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during the Gaza conflict.

On Sunday, the Israeli Cabinet said the army's three-week offensive against the militant group Hamas was legitimate self-defense. The Gaza assault ended in January.

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