US leader calls Netanyahu as Mitchell arrives to prepare negotiations.
By JPOST.COM STAFF, APPublished: MAY 3, 2010 18:23Advertisement
US President Barack Obama telephoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday to discuss how best to work together to achieve a comprehensive peace deal in the Middle East.White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the two talked about making "full use" of substantive indirect talks between the Israelis and Palestinians and moving to direct negotiations between the two sides as soon as possible.The telephone conversation came as US Mideast envoy George Mitchell returned to the region in anticipation of the first Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in more than a year.Mitchell plans to meet with the sides separately this week to get the negotiations under way.Netanyahu and Mubarak meet in EgyptEarlier Monday, Netanyahu briefed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on plans to resume the Mideast peace talks in the coming days.A statement by Netanyahu's office gave few details about Monday's 90-minute meeting in Sharm e-Sheikh, merely stating that the talks were constructive and took place in a good atmosphere.In the fourth meeting between the two leaders since Netanyahu took office in March 2009, they also spoke about other regional and bilateral issues. National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and National Security Council head Uzi Arad joined the prime minister on his trip, and held meetings with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The subject of captured soldier Gilad Schalit was among the issues on the agenda.Ben-Eliezer told reporters that the Israeli delegation received a "most impressive" reception, and that he was convinced Egypt would make a positive contribution to the peace process.
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