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Peres: Obama to Chair Bibi-Abbas meeting

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

September 2, 2009 | 8:35 pm

President Obama will moderate a meeting next month at the United Nations between Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli President Shimon Peres said.

“I think they will meet at the end of September,” Peres said of the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian Authority president during an interview Monday with Fox News. “President Obama will chair it, and I think that at least there is a chance that they will decide they are going to reopen negotiations. But that will not include Hamas.”

The meeting will take place “at the margins” of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Ynet reported.

Peres also told Fox that there is “not yet an agreement” on a settlement freeze, but “I do believe there is a solution for it as well.”

He also said that negotiations to free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit are continuing and “the gap has narrowed.” But asked if Shalit’s release was close, Peres said, “I think there is a chance it will happen soon, but Hamas is not an organized group of people and what they say today, they may change tomorrow.”

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