UN chief tries to salvage Mideast peace talks

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is on a Mideast peace mission aimed at salvaging the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian talks.

The sides began low-level discussions last month about restarting formal peace negotiations after a three-year lull. But the dialogue came to a halt without any breakthroughs last week.

Ban is visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in hopes of keeping the dialogue moving.

Ban met early Wednesday with Israel's president, Shimon Peres, before talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Later, he is to meet with Palestinian officials in the West Bank.

Ban visited Jordan, which is mediating the talks, on Tuesday. In Amman, he urged Israel to make goodwill gestures to keep the dialogue alive.