WASHINGTON -US President Barack Obama will be listening for “serious commitments” from Israeli and Palestinian leaders on moving towards peace during his trip to the Middle East next week, the White House said Friday.
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White House spokesman Josh Earnest explained that in the president’s meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Obama would be “having conversations with them about what kind of serious commitments they’re willing to make to advance the peace process.”
Earnest said that only face-to-face negotiations would achieve a resolution to the conflict, and that the US government was “willing to continue to play a facilitating role” in those, but he stressed that it would be hard to get to directs talks that can make real progress if “unilateral actions” such as settlement activity and Palestinian appeals to the UN go on.
Earnest declined to comment on the new formulation of the Israeli government and how that would affect America’s view of Israeli policy and settlement-building.