WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is formally opening the first direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in nearly two years, imploring the two sides to make compromises to forge an agreement.
In a ceremony at the State Department, Clinton said the Obama administration is committed to reaching a settlement in a year's time. But she stressed that after decades of failed attempts the main work belongs to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Thursday's negotiations are the first since December 2008. Recent violence in the West Bank and uncertainty over Israeli settlement activity have left expectations low for the talks. U.S. officials say the most likely success would be an agreement to hold a second round of negotiations.