US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton urged the Israelis and the Palestinians to “shake off the shackles of history” at the relaunch of peace talks between the two sides on Thursday.
Clinton said she was confident an agreement could be reached within Washington’s one-year deadline but said the US would not impose a deal.
“We will be an active and sustained partner,” she said.
“But we cannot and we will not impose a solution. Only you can make the decisions necessary to reach an agreement and secure a peaceful future for the Israeli and Palestinian people.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed both sides would have to give ground if they were to end the decades-old conflict.
“A true peace, a lasting peace, will be achieved only with mutual and painful concessions,” he said.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned of “the hurdles and obstacles” ahead.
He urged Israel to end its blockade of the Gaza Strip and halt settlement building in the West Bank.
Other issues to be resolved include the status of Jerusalem and the borders of a future Palestinian state.