Clinton makes personal bid to resume Mideast talks - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Clinton makes personal bid to resume Mideast talks

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - It doesn't appear that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is having much success reviving Mideast peace talks.

Clinton met with Palestianian President Mahmoud Abbas today in the Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi, before heading to Israel next.

A top aide to Abbas says Clinton asked the Palestinians to allow Israel to complete building 3,000 units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, construct public buildings there and continue construction work in east Jerusalem.

The Palestinians hope to make Jerusalem the capital of an eventual Palestinian state. The Abbas aide calls the request "a nonstarter" and says it's unlikely peace talks will resume.

Clinton's request would make a major change in the U.S. administration's position. It has demanded Israel halt all settlement building before negotiations could resume.

A State Department spokesman says the U.S. goal at this stage is to "narrow the gap" between the two sides on the settlement issue.            


(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)      

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