WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama Tuesday asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to prevent anti-Israeli incitement during indirect peace talks and said he would welcome him at the White House "soon."
During a phone conversation between the two leaders, Obama also expressed appreciation for Abbas' recent decision to appear on Israeli television, and said he would hold both the Palestinians and the Israelis accountable for any actions that undermine the proximity talks.
The US president and Abbas talked about the need for both sides to "negotiate seriously and in good faith, and to move from proximity talks to direct negotiations as soon as possible" to discuss permanent status issues, the White House said in a statement.
The president urged "that President Abbas do everything he can to prevent acts of incitement or delegitimization of Israel," the statement read.
"The president confirmed his intention to hold both sides accountable for actions that undermine trust during the talks. He said he looks forward to receiving President Abbas at the White House soon."
According to the Palestinian Authority's official news agency, Obama and Abbas agreed to focus on the issue of a permanent agreement, particularly with regards to security and the borders of a future Palestinian state.
It was further reported that Obama stressed US' commitment to the success of special Mideast envoy George Mitchell's mediation efforts, aimed at advancing a two-state solution.
The Palestinian news agency also said the American president said he was committed to safeguarding "US, Israeli, Palestinian and international interests."