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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Saudi Arabia Tuesday, trying to strengthen support ahead of a U.S. effort to start indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.Saudi Arabia has played an "outstanding" role in supporting the Palestinian resolve to create "an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

Visitors flocked to the Israeli stand in the Expo 2010 Shanghai China exhibition that opened on Saturday.

The U.S. is negotiating with Egypt a proposal to make the Middle East a region free of nuclear weapons, as the U.S. seeks to prevent Iran from derailing a monthlong U.N. conference on nuclear nonproliferation that begins Monday.

The Israelis and Palestinians have taken a small, halting step toward peace talks, a modest payoff for President Barack Obama's dogged, behind-the-scenes diplomacy. Word emerged Monday that the Israeli government had effectively frozen new Jewish construction in Jerusalem's disputed eastern sector.

There are times one could be forgiven for thinking that solving the Palestinian problem would take care of every global challenge from climate change to the flu. But would it? The short answer is no. It matters, but both less and in a different way than people tend to think.

Across all 28 countries, to no one’s surprise, the country with the least positive reputation was Iran. It was closely followed in unpopularity by Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. Just 19 per cent of respondents in the 28 countries held a positive view of Israel, compared to 50 per cent with a negative one.

How do you know when there's a real crisis in U.S.-Israel relations? It’s when the president of the United States convenes a nuclear security summit to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, and the Israeli prime minister declines the invitation.

Israel's defense minister expressed concern Monday about deteriorating relations with the United States and warned that "the growing alienation" with President Obama's administration "is not a good thing for the state of Israel."

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