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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 November 2007, 15:42 GMT
Miliband urges Middle East action
David Miliband
Mr Miliband said people "on the ground" had to work for peace

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said the Middle East peace process must get "back on track", after meeting his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni.

Mr Miliband's visit to Jerusalem comes ahead of a US conference to bring Israelis and Palestinians together.

He said there had been "six or seven years of very deep freeze" in the peace process and called for "compromises".

Mr Miliband met Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday and will meet Israeli PM Ehud Olmert on Monday.

Refugees

Negotiations in Annapolis, near Washington DC, later this month are expected to focus on the future for Jerusalem and Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

They will also look at the future of Palestinian refugees, many of whom lost their homes when Israel was created almost 60 years ago.

The international community - including the UK - have an important role to play
David Miliband

And they will aim to create a Palestinian state.

After his talks with Ms Livni, Mr Miliband said: "The critical thing, obviously, is that after six or seven years of very deep freeze in the Middle East peace process, that we get the process back on track.

"The message that I'm giving is that in the end it's going to be for people on the ground, leaders here in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority, to make the decisions and compromises.

"But the international community - including the UK - have an important role to play in supporting the process."

The Annapolis talks had been billed as the most serious attempt to restart the peace process in seven years.

But BBC Middle East correspondent Paul Wood said expectations for the US meeting had fallen through the floor.

Britain is promising 250m to back up the peace process, if it can be re-established.

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