US scrambles to salvage Mideast peace talks

WASHINGTON— The United States is launching a frantic bid to salvage the Middle East peace process after abandoning its primary strategy for drawing Israel and the Palestinians back into direct talks.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton planned a series of meetings Friday with senior officials from both sides before delivering a speech on the administration's plans for the way forward. The effort comes just days after the US dropped efforts to persuade Israel to renew a slowdown in settlement construction, a key Palestinian demand for returning to the table.
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