Hillary, Netanyahu speak amid efforts to save peace process

US-backed Middle East peace negotiations have been on the brink of collapse.

Last Updated: Oct 05, 2010, 13:47 PM IST

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the weekend with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, her spokesman said on Monday, amid US’ efforts to save new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

"I can only say that they...discussed ideas on a path forward. Beyond that, I`m not going to get into specifics," Crowley said of the telephone conversation that took place on Sunday.

"It was a constructive conversation," he told reporters.

Crowley said US Middle East envoy George Mitchell had returned to Washington following his nearly week-long tour of the Middle East that took him to Israel, the West Bank, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan.

The US-backed negotiations began in Washington on September 02, but have been on the brink of collapse since Israel refused to extend a 10-month moratorium on new settler homes in the West Bank that expired a week ago.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation on Saturday urged Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to withdraw from the talks over the Israeli settlement construction, his spokesman said in Ramallah.

Seeking to break the deadlock, Mitchell met Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Abbas in Ramallah on Friday, before travelling to Doha, Cairo and Amman.

"As George said in one of his statements over the weekend, we`re committed to the two-state outcome and establishment of a Palestinian state, and we continue to encourage the parties and consult with the parties on a path forward," Crowley said.

PTI