Obama pleased that Israeli soldier released-White House

by Reuters
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 16:31 GMT

JAMESTOWN, N.C., Oct 18 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama is pleased that Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has been freed and wants Israelis and Palestinians to take steps toward resuming peace negotiations, the White House said on Tuesday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters during the president's bus tour in North Carolina that it was not yet clear how Shalit's release would impact the Middle East peace process but said Obama was "personally pleased" by the development.

"Each side needs to take steps that make it easier to return to negotiations rather than harder," Carney said.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Will Dunham)

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