Opening of peace talks Sept. 1, 2010 AP
From left, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Photo by AP
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King Abdullah of Jordan said Tuesday that Israel and the Palestinians have a historic opportunity for peace which must not be missed.

While meeting with Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog (Labor) in his Amman palace, Abdullah urged a Mideast peace deal, saying that future generations will judge this moment of opportunity in the Middle East, so it cannot be missed.

Abdullah added that both sides must move toward the direction of peace and make every possible effort to engage in direct negotiations. He said that this requires the leaders to act with courage and responsibility.

Herzog assured King Abdullah that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aspires to engage in direct negotiations and reach a peace deal, and that the Labor Party supports this effort fully.

Meanwhile. Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak met separately Tuesday with Bill Clinton and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as part of Cairo's latest efforts in international diplomacy.

Abbas and Mubarak met at the presidential palace in Cairo in a meeting that diplomatic sources say focused on Israeli- Palestinian peace negotiations.

The latest effort at direct talks between the sides, which were relaunched last month, were facing collapse after Israel refused to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank.

Abbas had met with Arab League chief Amr Moussa on Monday night, as the organization was debating whether to continue lending support to the peace talks. A decision was expected later this week.