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Obama agenda: Middle East talks begin

“The Israeli and Palestinian leaders were to open direct peace negotiations Thursday after committing to work to end the conflict that has endured for six decades,” the New York Times writes. “The talks are to be held at the State Department, where they will take place under the eye of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The negotiations follow a remarkable tableau at the White House on Wednesday night, where President Obama, flanked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, vowed to do everything within his power in the next year to achieve the comprehensive agreement that has eluded negotiators since Israel was established.”