Clinton Kicks Off Mideast Peace Talks With Pep Talk

She expresses confidence, acknowledges 'we've been here before'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2010 12:41 PM CDT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.   (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool)
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(Newser) – And they're off: Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas have begun formal peace talks after a public pep talk from Hillary Clinton. How intractable is their task? The Washington Post headline begins "Clinton Urges Patience," while the New York Times says "Clinton Calls for Bold Steps." One sign of progress today: After about 2 hours of talks, they agreed to a second meeting later this month.

“I fervently believe that the two men sitting on either side of me, that you are the leaders who can make this long-cherished dream a reality,” said Clinton. "By being here today, you each have taken an important step of freeing your peoples from the shackles of a history we cannot change and moving toward a future of peace and dignity only you can create. So thank you—thank you for your courage and commitment."

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