WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama welcomed Israeli-Palestinian talks starting in Washington later on Monday but cautioned that a tough path lies ahead.

"This is a promising step forward, though hard work and hard choices remain ahead," Obama said in a statement.

"I am hopeful that both the Israelis and Palestinians will approach these talks in good faith and with sustained focus and determination," he said.

"The United States stands ready to support them throughout these negotiations, with the goal of achieving two states, living side by side in peace and security."

(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Bill Trott)


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