Obama to Moderate Abbas-Netanyahu Meeting: Peres
Israeli prez says settlement issue isn't settled, yet
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2009 1:00 PM CDT
President Barack Obama, right, meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama will play moderator to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting at the UN before the end of next month, Israeli President Shimon Peres tells Fox News. “I think they will meet by the end of September,” he says. "President Obama will chair it, and I think that at least there is a chance that they will decide they are going to reopen negotiations.”

Of course, Peres continues, “that will not include Hamas.” The president also says “negotiations are going on” over the freezing of Israeli settlement construction in Palestine, a likely precondition for peace talks, but “there is not yet an agreement.” Still, Netanyahu is aware there “is no chance, no escape, no alternative” to restarting the peace process. “He knows he must do it,” Peres says. “It's just not a simple proposition.”