NEW YORK — US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spent nearly a half-hour Friday meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the Obama administration tried to prevent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from collapsing.
After Clinton's 25-minute meeting with Abbas, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters that the US efforts to keep the talks alive were continuing.
In a furious, last-minute round of diplomacy, the Obama administration is pressing Israel to extend the settlement slowdown, while urging Abbas not to make good on his threat to leave the negotiations.
"It is a pretty intense set of negotiations going on right now with the Israelis and the Palestinians," said Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. "We know that time is short. This is an important issue."