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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, a U.S. official said, as Washington keeps up pressure for a new Middle East peace deal.
Clinton, wrapping up a three-day visit to Pakistan, was due to travel to Abu Dhabi on Friday and will meet both Abbas and the leadership of the emirate on Saturday, the official said on condition of anonymity.
Clinton was also expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at some point later in the weekend, although the details of this were not immediately available.
The two meetings come as Clinton prepares to meet Arab foreign ministers at a development summit in Morocco next week in an effort to drum up regional support for new peace moves.
Clinton's weekend visit to the Middle East will be her second since U.S. President Barack Obama took office in January. A senior U.S. envoy, George Mitchell, has been shuttling between Israeli and Palestinian leaders every few weeks.
Israeli and Palestinian officials have held out little chance of an imminent resumption of talks suspended since December.
Abbas insists Israel freeze settlement activity under a 2003 "road map" for peace, a demand Netanyahu has rejected.
Netanyahu has acceded to U.S. pressure to talk of negotiating the creation of a Palestinian state, but only if it is demilitarised and if Palestinians agree to recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
Beginning a new round of talks with Mitchell in Jerusalem on Friday, the Israeli leader said he looked forward to "our discussions and the discussions with Secretary of State Clinton to try to relaunch the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible."
Israeli radio reports said Clinton would spend only a few hours in Israel on Sunday and would not stay overnight.
(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Additional reporting by Douglas Hamilton)

Reuters