By ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she is hopeful that long-stalled peace talks between Israelis and the Palestinians will resume soon.She told a congressional committee that groundwork is being laid to restart the talks with the help of US envoy George Mitchell. She was not saying exactly when the negotiations might resume, but her comments come amid a flurry of US diplomatic activity in the region.Clinton said it's "absolutely necessary" for Israelis and Palestinians to begin discussing the most difficult issues.A plan backed by the US and its international partners would allow the Palestinians to establish an independent state alongside Israel. The West Bank would make up most of that future state.
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