Obama: US, French leadership needed on Mideast

NEW YORK (AP) ? President Barack Obama says leadership from the U.S. and France is needed to advance the troubled cause of Middle East peace and help the global economy.

But appearing alongside French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama did not comment on a new proposal from Sarkozy to give Israel and the Palestinians a one-year timeline to reach a peace deal.

The two leaders met Wednesday on the sidelines of a U.N. General Assembly dominated by the Palestinians’ quest for statehood recognition, something both countries are trying to head off.

Obama thanked Sarkozy for the French role in hotspots including Libya. Sarkozy said it was easy to work with Obama, and said the economy and finding a path to growth was the top priority.