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US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Arlington, Virginia. The meeting aims to prepare the ground for this week's relaunch of direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
Clinton is expected to hold a separate meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day. She's also scheduled to see the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair,the representative of the "Quartet" of Middle-East peacemakers.
Clinton, is due to open the first direct negotiations, between Israel and the Palestinians in 20 months. The United States, says it believes the negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, can be completed within a year, although observers on both sides are skeptical.