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Obama speech a "good start" -Palestinian spokesman
RAMALLAH, West Bank, June 4 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world on Thursday was a "good start" towards a new U.S. policy in the Middle East, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said.
"His call for stopping settlement and for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and his reference to the suffering of Palestinians ... is a clear message to Israel that a just peace is built on the foundations of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," said the spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdainah.
"President Obama's speech is a good start and an important step towards a new American policy," he said.
In Jerusalem, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no immediate comment. Netanyahu has been at odds with Obama over the president's call for a Palestinian state and a halt to Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.
The Western-backed Abbas heads the Palestinian Authority, which has held sway only in the West Bank since Hamas Islamists took over the Gaza Strip in 2007.
There was no immediate comment from Hamas officials in Gaza after Obama's speech. (Reporting by Ali Sawafta, Writing by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Joseph Nasr)
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