Palestinian officials say U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has pledged to quickly involve himself in the Mideast peace process if elected in November.
Hundreds of Palestinian security officers lined the streets during Senator Obama's hour-long meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ton Wednesday in the West Bank town of Ramallah. An Abbas aide, Saeb Erekat, told reporters Obama said he would "not waste a minute" pushing for a peace deal because it is vital to U.S. interests.
Obama's rival for the U.S. presidency, Republican Senator John McCain, did not meet with Palestinian leaders when he visited Israel in March.
Earlier, Obama praised Israel as a "miracle that has blossomed." He is scheduled to travel to the Israeli town of Sderot, which has been targeted by rocket attacks, and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over dinner.