Brown says he and Obama pledge to focus on Middle East

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday that he and US President-elect Barack Obama vowed during telephone talks to make progress on Mideast peace a key international goal next year. "Let us seize the opportunity we have before us to make 2009 the Middle East year of peace, so we can look back and say 2009 was the turning point," Brown told a London conference on investment in the Palestinian economy. British officials say the change in administration in the United States, and the upcoming Israeli elections, could provide a catalyst for progress in peace talks.