Obama, Abbas talk about peace process


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Barack Obama reiterated his support for a Palestinian state during a phone conversation with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said that during the call Obama pledged to continue to push MIddle East peace efforts and emphasized his strong support for a Palestinian state side by side with Israel, according to the French press agency.

"Obama said he will continue to push the peace process forward in order to reach a two-state solution, and that he will work with the Palestinians and Israelis to reach peace because it is in everyone’s interest," Erakat told the news agency.

He added that the call demonstrated the president-elect would give peace talks "a high priority."

An Obama campaign statement said that Obama was returning a congratulatory call from Abbas. Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert by phone on Nov. 6, two days after the election, and both leaders discussed the need to press ahead with the peace process.

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