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Barack Obama 'grateful' for Abbas' peace efforts

“Sitting directly at the table, we’ve seen Palestinian and Israeli representatives discuss some of the most difficult issues that have been roadblocks to peace for too long. None of us are under any illusion that this would be easy,” said Obama.

He added, “As I said in my speech this morning, it has already entailed significant political risk by President Abbas, as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu.  But I think the reason that they’ve been willing to take those risks is they realize this is the best way, the only way, for us to achieve what should be our goal:  two states living side-by-side in peace and security.”

Regarding the much sought-after two-state solution, Obama emphasized the potential benefits for future generations of Israelis and Palestinians, saying, “It's right for the Palestinian children. It's right for the Israeli children."

Abbas concurred as he reiterated his dedication to the peace process, saying that he remains “fully committed” even in the face of mounting challenges ahead.

“And as you have indicated, Mr. President, we have no illusions that peace will be easy or simple.  And we have to overcome several difficulties, but we realize that peace in the Middle East is not just important for the Palestinians and Israelis, it’s important for the entire region and the world,” he said.

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