Obama reaffirms commitment to Mideast peace
President Barack Obama on Monday called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, reaffirming U.S. commitment to the Middle East peace and the overall objectives outlined by the Quartet mediators, Xinhua reported.
In their phone conversation, the two presidents discussed a range of issues of mutual interest, the White House said, noting Obama "reaffirmed America's commitment to Middle East peace and to the overall objectives outlined by the Quartet."
"The two leaders agreed on the necessity of the two-state solution, and President Obama noted that Jordan's efforts to foster direct discussions between Israel and the Palestinians are an important contribution to the cause of peace," the White House said in a statement.
The Quartet, comprising the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia, has been pressing the Palestinians and the Israelis to resume direct negotiations over a two-state solution, and has set an ambitious goal of an overall agreement by the end of 2012.
Direct talks between the two sides run aground only weeks after getting restarted in Washington in early September, 2010, and five rounds of exploratory talks in Jordan in January this year failed to make any breakthrough.
Cross-border violence flared up last week when Palestinian militants fired rockets into southern Israel and Israel launched airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, leaving 26 Palestinians dead.
In his phone talks with Abbas, Obama noted the need for all parties to reinforce the efforts that have brought an end to the recent fighting.
"They also discussed the ongoing need to build trust between the parties and for all sides to refrain from provocative actions that make it more difficult to build such trust," the White House said, noting they agreed to remain in close contact over the issues.