Obama: US cannot impose peace
Says Israelis and Palestinians may decide they are "unprepared."
US President Barack Obama. Photo: AP
WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama acknowledged
Tuesday that no matter how much pressure America applies to the parties in the Middle East conflict, peace may not be achieved.
He also said that the US cannot
“impose solutions” in all conflicts and urged Israel and other non-signatories
of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to join, during a press conference
capping the two-day Nuclear Security Summit he convened.
Speaking of Middle East peace,
Obama said that “even if we apply all our political capital to that issue, the
Israeli people through their government and the Palestinian people through the
Palestinian Authority as well as other Arab states may say to themselves, we are
not prepared to resolve these issues no matter how much pressure the United
States brings to bear.”
He added, “The truth is that in
some of these conflicts, the United States cannot impose
solutions, unless the participants in these conflicts are willing to break out
of old patterns of antagonism.”
Quoting former US
secretary of state James Baker, who served under George H.W. Bush, Obama said,
“We can’t want it more than they do.”
But he continued by saying that
he would keep on trying even though progress would “take time,” stressing that
“what we can make sure is that we are constantly present, constantly
Asked whether America’s nuclear policy smacked of hypocrisy
because it doesn’t take Israel to task for not joining the NPT despite
the widespread belief that it has an undeclared nuclear arsenal, Obama said that
US policy has long been to encourage
all countries to sign the NPT.
“Whether we’re talking about
Israel or any other country, we think
that becoming part of the NPT is important,” he said.