Obama encourages talks because alternative is status quo

US president says he knows talks will be difficult but alternative puts both parties at risk; moratorium on settlement construction has proven effective.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 10, 2010 19:50
ONE WAS left with a distinct sense of having seen

Obama Peace Talks 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama said on Friday that he is encouraging peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians because the alternative is a status quo that puts both parties, and the United States, at risk.

Obama told a White House news conference that he knows the talks begun this month will be difficult, but he said the Israeli and Palestinian leaders know they need a deal, and that they need one another.

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Obama said the United States will stay engaged in the negotiations, including a visit to the region by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next week.

Obama also said that Israel's moratorium on settlement construction has proven effective.

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