U.S., Spain urge resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
The United States and Spain on Tuesday called for a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, saying that peace in the Middle East is key to solving problems in the world, Xinhua reported.
"The time is right for a resumption of negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis in order to create two states that are living side by side in peace and security," said U.S. President Barack Obama after meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in the White House.
Echoing Obama's call, Zapatero, whose country will hold the EU rotating presidency in the first half of 2010, said that peace in the Middle East is "the key to settling problems with security, with peace, in other parts of the world," adding that the EU would strengthen its actions in the Middle East.
After their first bilateral meeting, Obama and Zapatero told reporters that they also discussed U.S.-Spain friendship, global economic recovery, Iran's nuclear program, and strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Zapatero, after his visit to the United States, will fly to the Middle East for meetings with leaders of Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Spain is one of the major contributors to the NATO mission in Afghanistan and has strong bilateral relations with the United States.