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Report: Obama firm on Palestinian state

US Vice President Joe Biden and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walk past a honor guard in the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah, West Bank, March 10, 2010. UPI/Debbie Hill
US Vice President Joe Biden and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walk past a honor guard in the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah, West Bank, March 10, 2010. UPI/Debbie Hill | License Photo

JERUSALEM, April 29 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas he was committed to creating a Palestinian state in two years, an Egyptian official said.

Besides discussing Obama's promise to Abbas about establishing a Palestinian state, the Egyptian official told an Arab newspaper that Israel rejected a U.S. proposal to withdraw troops from areas in the West Bank, Haaretz reported Thursday.

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The account indicated Israeli officials told U.S. envoy George Mitchell the country couldn't guarantee such a pullout before resuming direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. The dispatch reported the Egyptian official as saying Israel only offered to remove checkpoints and release some Palestinian prisoners.

Last week, Abbas urged the Obama administration to "impose a solution" on the Middle East conflict that would include an independent Palestinian state, Haaretz said.

Abbas's appeal to Washington came amid media reports indicating Obama was considering a proposal that would set parameters for a final peace accord, the Israeli publication said.

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