PA unhappy with Obama's AIPAC speech

Palestinians react with disappointment, particularly because US president didn't mention Palestinian issue.

March 5, 2012 18:56
Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat 311 (R). (photo credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Palestinians reacted with deep disappointment to US President Barack Obama’s speech on Sunday at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, particularly because he did not make any reference to the Palestinian issue.

The Palestinians said that Obama’s speech in support of Israel was clearly intended to win the backing of American Jews ahead of the US presidential election later this year.

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They added that Obama’s continued support for Israel showed that the US can no longer play the role of a neutral and honest mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat voiced “deep regret” over the speech.

He said during a meeting with American Consul-General Daniel Rubinstein in Jerusalem that the US should stop treating Israel as a state above the law.

Erekat demanded that the US administration force Israel to fulfill its obligations toward the peace process. Neither Israel nor the US could ignore the Palestinian issue, he said.

“Any party that talks about peace in the Middle East should oblige the Israeli government to fulfill its commitments to the peace process,” Erekat said.

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