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Obama speaks with Abbas, Netanyahu
US president talked with PM, Palestinian president Thursday, tells them Washington supports them fully in efforts to achieve peace

President Barack Obama spoke by phone on Thursday to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said, as the United States seeks to keep up the momentum for peace negotiations.

 

The phone calls came days after Israeli and Palestinian negotiators ended a three-year void and met in Washington with Secretary of State John Kerry.

 

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"President Obama called Prime Minister Netanyahu today to commend his leadership and courage in resuming final status negotiations with the Palestinians," the White House said in a statement.

 

"The president underscored that while the parties have much work to do in the days and months ahead, the United States will support them fully in their efforts to achieve peace."

 

A similar statement was sent regarding Obama's call with Abbas. "The president reaffirmed that the United States stands ready to support the parties in achieving a just and lasting peace based on the two state solution, and will continue to work closely with the Palestinian Authority to achieve this goal," it said.

 

WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, said Obama, in his call to Abbas, stressed his support for the efforts that led to launching the peace process and the need to exploit the current opportunity by acting fast to keep up the momentum.

 

Abbas stressed the Palestinian commitment to a two-state solution and the need to reach a solution in the nearest time possible, the report said.

 

Abbas thanked the US president for his and Kerry's efforts on the matter.

 

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held their first peace talks in nearly three years on Monday in a US-brokered effort that Secretary of State John Kerry hopes will end their conflict despite deep divisions.

 

Elior Levy contributed to this report

 

 

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