Abbas to meet Obama in Washington end of May

April 23, 2009 11:06 am 

RAMALLAH, April 22 — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will hold talks in Washington with US President Barack Obama at the end of May, a senior Palestinian official said on Wednesday.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, said in a statement that the meeting "is scheduled to be held in the White House at the end of May."

Earlier reports quoted Abu Rudeineh as saying that Abbas and Obama will meet in Washington on May 28. However, Abu Rudeineh, in the statement, did not give a specific date for the meeting.

The upcoming meeting will be the first of its kind since Obama took office in January. Obama has said that his administration will exert every possible effort to push forward the Middle East peace process.

Abu Rudeineh described the upcoming meeting between Abbas and Obama as "important," adding that "the meeting will be like standing on a crossroad related to the future of the Middle East peace process."

"President Abbas' visit would draw the characteristics of the future Arab and Palestinian diplomatic movements for several years," said the spokesman.

He said Obama's support for the two-state solution and his administration's involvement in the Mideast peace process "must be accompanied with a US pressure on Israel to make its position clear."

Israel's new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leading a right-leaning government made repeated pledges to advance the peace process, but has so far danced around the two-state principle. (PNA/Xinhua)

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