Obama to Israeli, Palestinian Leaders: Get to Work

President meets with Netanyahu, Abbas, calls for progress on negotiations
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2009 2:17 PM CDT
President Obama watches as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands in New York Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – President Obama urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to restart peace talks, saying it was “time to move forward” on finding compromises to the contentious final status issues, the New York Times reports. Obama delivered his comments today after separate one-on-one meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas and just before a meeting with both leaders together.

“My message to these two is clear,” Obama said, standing next to the Israeli prime minister and Palestinian president. “Despite all the obstacles, all the history, all the mistrust, we have to find a way forward.” The Obama administration had hoped to use today to announce the relaunch of peace talks, but envoy George Mitchell’s failure to negotiate concessions from either side over the previous week made that impossible.