White House sets dates for Middle East talks

May 13th, 2009 - 12:13 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, May 12 (DPA) US President Barack Obama will hold his first talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later this month on the Middle East peace process, the White House said Tuesday.
Obama will meet with Netanyahu at the White House on May 18 followed by visits from Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak on May 26 and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on May 28.

Obama had said some weeks ago that he planned to hold meetings with the three leaders in an effort to move forward on peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Netanyahu has stopped short of an explicit endorsement of Palestinian statehood, placing him at odds with Obama, who adopted former president George W. Bush’s policy of a two-state solution as the centerpiece of a final settlement.

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