Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met for two hours in New York on Thursday as Israeli officials sought to develop their own proposal to resume faltering Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Netanyahu and Clinton met to discuss this week's U.S.-Israel clash over Jewish construction in disputed East Jerusalem as well as to try to resuscitate a negotiating round that has been on the edge of collapse for weeks.
The new round began officially Sept. 1 but was suspended at the end of the month when Palestinians refused to talk until Israel extended a moratorium on housing construction in the West Bank.
Israel wants to develop its own proposal to try to bring the Palestinians back to the table. The Netanyahu government aims to offer the proposal within the next few weeks.
Before the meeting, Netanyahu told reporters at a Manhattan hotel that he and Clinton would be talking "about how to resume and continue this process to get a historic agreement with peace and security between us and the Palestinians."
Netanyahu said his government wants to broaden the peace agreement to take in "many other Arab countries."
"We are quite serious about doing it and we want to get on with it," he said.
It remains unclear whether the Israelis will yield to U.S. pressure to extend a freeze on Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank or whether they will try to use other incentives to bring Palestinian leaders back to negotiations.
Clinton, who has been focused in recent weeks on saving the talks, said that Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are both "very committed" to resolving the conflict by creating a Palestinian state.
"And we are going to find a way forward," she said.
But Clinton also had said she and Netanyahu would discuss U.S. unhappiness with the announcement this week that Israel would build 1,300 units in East Jerusalem, which is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians.