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Sources: Netanyahu expects Obama to resume Mideast efforts after midterms

U.S. President Barack Obama (3rd L) arrives with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah II (L-R) to make a statement on Middle East peace in the East Room of the White House in Washington September 1, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Jason Reed )


Nov 2, 2010 (KATAKAMI / HAARETZ) — PM Benjamin Netanyahu asks Clinton to meet with him during his visit to the U.S. next week, already planning to hold talks with Biden in New Orleans.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that the Obama administration will renew its initiatives to relaunch direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority after the U.S. midterm elections conclude on Tuesday, sources in Jerusalem said on Tuesday.

The sources said that Netanyahu was interested in resuming the political process and had asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to meet with him during his visit to the U.S. next week.

The premier is already planning talks in New Orleans with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Both Netanyahu and Biden are scheduled to address November 7-9 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

President Barack Obama, who is trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks stalled over Israeli settlement building, leaves on November 5 for a 10-day visit to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. As such, the two leaders will not meet during Netanyahu’s trip.

A new round of direct peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians got under way in Washington on Sept. 2 only to stop a few weeks later when Israel lifted restrictions it had imposed on a 10-month West Bank settlement building.

Polls released ahead of Tuesday’s midterms predicted hefty losses for Obama’s Democrats. Israeli ministers expect this will force him to avoid any bruising showdowns with Israel and its supporters in the coming months for fear of further undermining his shaky electoral position.

Palestinians hope that after the vote, Obama will refocus on foreign affairs and use the last two years of his presidential mandate to seek a place in history by securing an end to the decades-old conflict, regardless of obvious domestic risks.


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