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Obama hopeful on direct Middle East peace talks

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Obama hopeful on direct Middle East peace talks


US President Barack Obama has said he hopes to see direct Israeli Palestinian peace negotiations by September.

The announcement came as Obama held key fence mending talks at the White House with Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A range of issues, including Iran’s atomic programme are also thought to have topped discussions between the two leaders.

The meeting had been scheduled to take place a month ago but was postponed following Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla.

The joint appearance was in stark contrast to the frosty reception the Israeli leader received in March – regarded by many as a snub.

That saw relations between the US and Israel reach a low point in a row over Israeli settlement expansion in East-Jerusalem.

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