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April 12, 2013 9:10 am

Obama, After Meeting UN Chief, Stresses ‘Window of Opportunity’ for Mideast Peace Talks

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Screen shot of U.S. President Barack Obama speaking after receiving Medal of Distinction. Photo: Ynet.

Israel and the Palestinians have a “window of opportunity to get back to the peace table,” U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday after meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the Oval Office.

Obama said the two discussed how “the United States, as a strong friend of Israel and a supporter of a Palestinian state, can work with the United Nations and other multilateral bodies to try to move that process forward.” Ban and Obama also discussed the situation in Syria and North Korea, Israel Hayom reported.

Ban said he appreciated Obama’s recent visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. “We need to do more of our efforts to fully utilize the generated momentum by President Obama’s visit so that a two-state solution can be successfully implemented as soon as possible,” Ban said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel this week to try to bring the two sides together. Kerry told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Palestinians want borders to be the first issue discussed and expect Israel to present a map of the borders of a future Palestinian state. Netanyahu said the issue must be left for the final stage of negotiations, as there are essential issues that need to be agreed upon first.

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