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Barack Obama meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on a historical visit to West Bank


President Barack Obama has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a historical visit to the West Bank.

Barack Obama has said that the US is “deeply committed” to creating a sovereign state of Palestine.

Speaking after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Barack Obama said Israeli settlement activity was not “appropriate for peace”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry would, the president added, devote time and energy trying to bring the two sides closer.

Mahmoud Abbas said the two men had held “good and useful” talks in Ramallah.

However, Palestinian expectations of Barack Obama’s visit have been low, analysts say.

President Barack Obama has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a historical visit to the West Bank

President Barack Obama has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a historical visit to the West Bank

On his first visit to Israel as US president on Wednesday, Barack Obama vowed strong support for the country.

At talks on Wednesday, Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict

Speaking in Jerusalem, President Barack Obama said a central element of securing a lasting peace in the Middle East “must be a strong and secure Jewish state where its security concerns are met, alongside a sovereign and independent Palestinian state”.

Two rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Thursday morning, Israeli officials say, but there were no reports of anyone being hurt. A further two rockets fired from Gaza reportedly fell inside Gaza itself.

Mahmoud Abbas condemned “violence against civilians, whatever its source, including the firing of rockets”, according to a Palestinian spokesperson.

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