AFP
Last updated: October 19, 2011

Obama anticipates meeting Netanyahu in New York

US President Barack Obama anticipates a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week in New York, but no talks are so far planned for him with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor, said that the president expected to meet Netanyahu amid the Palestinian drive for statehood recognition at the United Nations General Assembly next week, but no time has yet been set.

"The goal of the meeting is to determine what is the best way to get the parties back together," Rhodes said.

Obama has already said the United States will veto any attempt by the Palestinians to seek statehood recognition in the Security Council, saying it will do little to frame a genuine Palestinian state on the ground.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday she saw a "growing recognition" among the "parties in the region" that it would be best for the Palestinians to abandon a bid for UN membership.

Clinton, at a joint news conference after talks with Australia in San Francisco, said she did not want to set odds of success for the US-led diplomatic effort to ward off the UN bid, but that she saw growing support.

The United States has sent envoys to the region in a last-minute bid to thwart the Palestinians' effort for membership at the United Nations, a move vehemently opposed by Israel.

Clinton voiced hope that Israel and the Palestinians could resume negotiations along the contours of a framework laid out by Obama in May.

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