Mideast Talks: Leaders Agree to Meet Again

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Mideast peace talks organized by the Obama administration have wrapped up in Washington, D.C. Everyone attending agreed on only one thing -- and that was to meet again in two weeks.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted the first direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in nearly two years.

After larger meetings with members of both delegations, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinians' Mahmoud Abbas then met one on one.

However, Clinton said all of the people of the Mideast have to join in to make sure of a lasting peace in the region.

"People have to rally to the cause of peace and peace needs champions on every street corner and around every kitchen table," she said.

During the talks, Netanyahu demanded security.

"Without it, peace will unravel," Netanyahu said. "With it, peace can be stable an enduring."

Abbas' demanded the Israelis lift their embargo over the Gaza Strip and end all of their settlement activity.

However, Dani Dayan, the chairman of the Yesha Council overseeing the West Bank's 300,000 Israeli settlers, told CBN News the Jewish state must never try to clear those settlers out as part of a peace deal.

"It will break completely the backbone of the Israeli society and this is something that no responsible Israeli prime minister can allow," Dayan said.

Netanyahu and Abbas agreed to meet again on Sept. 14 and many other dates after that. They also agreed to a deadline.

"Our goal is to resolve all of the core issues within one year," said U.S. Special Mideast Envoy George Mitchell.

"A year would require the sun, moon and the stars to align themselves in proper position which is basically impossible - in order to produce a breakthrough," said Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

People on both sides are discouraged and daunted. The Israelis -- by the Hamas' murder of four Israeli civilians on Tuesday and the Palestinians -- due to the lack of a freeze on Israeli settlements.

"Unfortunately these talks are doomed to fail, because they take place without real freeze of settlement activities," said Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti.

"It seems that every time that there is an attempt for peace talks that causes a flare up in violence," said Efrat, an Israel resident of Yair Spitz.

However, Jordan's King Abdullah II has joined the peace talks. He pointed out violent people will do everything they can to disrupt a peace deal.

"Because when the Palestinians and Israelis find peace, when young men and women can look to a future of promise and opportunity, radicals and extremists lose their most potent appeal," Abdullah said.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.