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Israel-Palestine meet for peace talks

world Updated: Sep 02, 2010 23:58 IST

Seeking to broker a West Asia peace agreement that has eluded US presidents for decades, the Obama administration is overseeing the first direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in nearly two years.

After a day and evening in White House talks with President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sit down together on Thursday for the first of what American officials hope will be a series of meetings that lead in a year's time to an agreement on the creation of a Palestinian state.

Obama said he was “cautiously hopeful” about the talks.

Mediated at the State Department by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and special West Asia peace envoy George Mitchell, the discussions face numerous obstacles, not least renewed violence and provocations from Israelis and Palestinians opposed to the goal of an independent Palestine and secure Israel.