UNITED NATIONS Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledged to U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday that the Palestinians will exert every effort possible to try to ensure peace talks with Israel are a success.
Obama and Abbas met on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly days after a second Israeli serviceman was killed by suspected Palestinian gunmen as tensions rise in the West Bank despite a resumption of stalled U.S.-brokered peace talks in July.
Obama is due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week in Washington as he tries to keep up the momentum in peace negotiations.
"None of us are under any illusion that this would be easy," said Obama.
Abbas said negotiators will need to overcome "several difficulties" but that the Palestinians are committed to the process.
"We will exert every effort possible to make sure that they will succeed and to take advantage of this historical opportunity. We understand there will be difficulties, but we will do our utmost best to overcome them," he said.
(Reporting By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler)