Obama meets Abbas, Netanyahu on U.N. sidelines


NEW YORK (JTA) — President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly opening.

Obama’s meetings Wednesday were part of his effort to head off a Palestinian attempt to obtain statehood recognition through the U.N.

There were no reports of what was discussed in the meetings, although Netanyahu and Obama delivered brief remarks expressing their agreement on opposition to the statehood push on their way into their meeting.

Netanyahu praised Obama for his speech earlier Wednesday in which he called on the Palestinians and the United Nations not to shortcut talks with preemptive statehood recognition.

"My hope is that there will be other leaders in the world, responsible leaders, who will heed your call, Mr. President, and oppose this effort to shortcut peace negotiations — in fact, to avoid them," Netanyahu said.

Obama and Abbas would not offer remarks before their meeting later in the day.

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