Israeli-Palestinian conflict takes center stage in Washington

Ahead of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians on Thursday, President Barack Obama said Wednesday night that he was “hopeful — cautiously hopeful” that the talks could achieve a two-state solution to the long running Mideast conflict.

“We are bound by the one title we share,” Obama said on a stage he shared with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the leaders of Egypt and Jordan. “We are fathers blessed with sons and daughters… we must ask ourselves what kind of world we want to bequeath to our children and grandchildren.”

The president was speaking at the start of a working White House dinner with Netanyahu, Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Each made remarks before the dinner. Also attending the dinner are U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East Quartet Representative Tony Blair. The Quartet consists of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union.

“We don’t seek a brief interlude between two wars, we don’t seek a temporary respite between outburst of terror,” Netanyahu said. “We seek a peace that will end the conflict between us once and for all… for our generation, our children’s generation and the next.”

Netanyahu and Abbas condemned attacks against the Israelis in recent days.