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Israeli, Palestinian leaders hold 2nd round of peace talks

09-14-2010 18:58 BJT

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Leaders involved in the Middle East peace negotiations have held separate meetings in Egypt ahead of the second round of direct negotiations.

The US and Egypt are trying to mediate between Israelis and Palestinians to forge a peace agreement.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at a Red Sea resort.

Later she met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to hold one-to-one talks, in an attempt to bridge the impasse over Israeli settlement building that threatens to scupper the new peace talks.

Meanwhile, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held a separate meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas (R) shake hands as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
smiles in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh Sept. 14, 2010. Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
started the second round of direct talks on Tuesday in Sharm el-Sheikh
after their first round in nearly two years in Washington on Sept. 2.
(Xinhua/Hayam Adel)

Later in the day, the combinations were switched.

Egypt, the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel, has long played a mediating role in the region, but has often criticized Israel, particularly over settlement building.

Clinton will meet Netanyahu and Abbas together again in Jerusalem on Wednesday as she seeks to keep the talks alive.

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