Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
in a bid to clear hurdles to restarting direct
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, her spokesman said on Friday.
In messages on Twitter, State Department spokesman Philip
Crowley said Clinton also spoke with her counterparts Nasser
Judeh of Jordan and Ahmed Abul Gheit of Egypt as she
"continued the US push for peace in the Middle East."
Crowley said the chief US diplomat discussed with
"Netanyahu issues to be resolved for direct negotiations to
begin," while she spoke with Judeh and Abul Gheit about
Clinton held the conversations with the key players after
US Middle East envoy returned Wednesday to Washington after
two days of talks with Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmud
Egypt and Jordan, the two Arab countries to have made
peace with Israel, play a key Arab mediating role in the
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Crowley said Wednesday the two sides had moved closer
toward restarting the talks.
But he said details about how talks would proceed need to
be ironed out before the two sides agree to resume direct
talks that broke off in December 2008 when Israel invaded the
Gaza Strip to stop Hamas militant rocket fire.
Israel and the Palestinians have held indirect
"proximity" talks since May.