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Hillary in Morocco for West Asia peace talks

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in this North African city early on Sunday for a series of meetings with Arab leaders to discuss West Asia peace and other issues.

world Updated: Nov 02, 2009 00:03 IST

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in this North African city early on Sunday for a series of meetings with Arab leaders to discuss West Asia peace and other issues.

The top US diplomat, on the last stop of a weeklong West Asia trip, is praising Israel for “unprecedented” concessions in the interest of restarting peace talks with the Palestinians, but her shuttle diplomacy produced no sign of a breakthrough.

The Palestinians on Saturday rejected Israel’s offer to show “restraint” in settlement construction in the West Bank, rather than completely halting building. Clinton spoke approvingly of the Israeli offer, knowing it is at odds with the prevailing Palestinian view.

After talks on Saturday in the Persian Gulf with Palestinians and in Jerusalem with Israelis, Clinton flew to Marrakech where she will consultation with Arab foreign ministers. She arrived Sunday at sunrise.

Palestinian leaders have said they will not return to peace talks with Israel unless it stops all settlement building on lands they claim for a future state, and they believe Israel has blatantly defied a US demand for a settlement freeze.