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Asked Monday whether Mr. Obama might take part directly in the talks, White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest replied, “There’s no current plan for that.”

In his statement Monday, Mr. Obama said that “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.”

The president said that while “the most difficult work of these negotiations is ahead,” his own travel to the Middle East during recent months gave him confidence that there could be a breakthrough.

Other key foreign policy players in Washington expressed similar confidence.

“For years, I and many others have been calling for direct, face-to-face talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians without preconditions, and it appears that this will be the case,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel of New York, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“I have long supported a two-state solution under the principle of two states for two peoples: a Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian Arab state, living side by side in peace and security,” Mr. Engel said in a statement. “I hope the parties will be able to achieve that goal.”

He added that Mr. Netanyahu personally assured him that “Israel is and has always been ready to make the difficult decisions necessary to reach peace.”

“I hope that President Abbas will also be willing to make such decisions,” Mr. Engel said.