Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas hold a second round of face-to-face talks starting today in Egypt.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is mediating the talks in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell is also attending.
On the eve of the negotiations, Clinton said the time is ripe for an agreement between the two sides.
She also repeated the U.S. view that Israel should extend its moratorium on new settlement construction in the West Bank. Clinton said the two sides needed to resolve the issue.
On September 12, Netanyahu said Israel would not extend the moratorium, but he hinted the scope of new construction could be limited.
Abbas has threatened to quit the talks if new construction begins again in occupied territory.
The talks are expected to continue till September 15 in Jerusalem.
compiled from agency reports