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US, Jordan Agree on Need to Re-Launch Mideast Peace Talks

The top diplomats from the United States and Jordan say there is an urgent need to re-launch peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh discussed the issue Friday in Washington.

The two diplomats later voiced support for a comprehensive two-state solution based on 1967 borders. They said a peace deal should also focus on the fate of Palestinian refugees, the future of Jerusalem and Israel's security.

Clinton also plans to meet Friday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and the head of Egypt's intelligence service, Omar Suleiman.

The talks are part of a renewed U.S.-led effort to jump-start the stalled Middle East peace process.

U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell has said Israeli-Palestinian talks should lead to an accord in no more than two years.

Mitchell plans to visit Europe and the Middle East in the coming days to work on setting terms and getting international pressure behind the negotiations.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled in recent months, partly because of the dispute about Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.

In November, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a partial freeze on settlement construction, in a bid to restart peace talks with the Palestinians. The freeze does not apply to East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.