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Obama Calls Palestinian Leader, says Peace Vital - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, (AP) – A Palestinian negotiator says U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has called the Palestinian president and told him that peace is a vital interest for Israelis and Palestinians.

Negotiator Saeb Erekat says the phone call took place Tuesday.

Erekat says Obama told President Mahmoud Abbas that he will spare no effort to facilitate a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

A year of U.S.-backed talks has not yielded tangible results and the fate of the negotiations is uncertain.

Israel is holding elections in February. Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would not continue peace talks in the current format. Also, Abbas faces a new political showdown with rival Hamas in January when the Islamic militants say his term expires.