Mar. 24th (BBC News) - Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has held talks with US President Barack Obama - their first meeting since a row over plans to build homes in East Jerusalem.
They held two meetings at the White House in what the Israelis said was a "good atmosphere".
Mr Netanyahu had warned earlier that Middle East peace talks could be further delayed by Palestinian demands for a freeze on settlement building.
The Palestinians said Mr Netanyahu's policy was stalling the peace process.
Meanwhile, it emerged on Tuesday evening that the Jerusalem municipal government had just approved the building of 20 new apartments for Jews on the site of an old hotel in the Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem.
The news drew criticism from chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, who said in a statement that Israel was "digging itself into a hole".
An Israeli Likud MP, MK Yariv Levin, was quoted as saying the building approval was the "translation of Netanyahu's words into deeds" - referring to the PM's assertion on Monday of Israel's "right to build" in Jerusalem.
A White House official told the BBC that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Obama had first met for about 90 minutes.
He added that the US president later went to his residence, but Mr Netanyahu requested another meeting and the two leaders spent another 30 minutes together.
The Israeli prime minister's office said there was "a good atmosphere" during the talks.
But the White House had no immediate comment on their content. In a break with convention, reporters were not invited to witness the pair shake hands at the start of their discussions.
It was a pointed contrast with the traditional public welcome for Israeli leaders at the White House, the BBC's Steve Kingstone in Washington reports.
Our correspondent says that for the Americans it reflects an uncomfortable fact: that in the wake of a full-scale diplomatic row, Mr Netanyahu came to Washington offering no obvious concessions.
At an earlier meeting with US congressional leaders, Mr Netanyahu described the Palestinian demands on a construction freeze as "illogical and unreasonable".
"It could put the peace negotiations on hold for another year," he said.
Last week Mr Obama said the approval of plans for 1,600 homes in Ramat Shlomo was not helpful to the peace process. But on Monday, Mr Netanyahu reasserted Israel's "right to build" in Jerusalem.
Nearly 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.