Obama sees 'difficult path' in renewing Israel-Palestinian talks

By REUTERS
May 13, 2015 13:17

"The United States is taking a hard look at our approach to the conflict," Obama said in an interview with 'Asharq al-Awsat'.

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President Barack Obama disembarks Marine One at the Brackett Field landing zone in San Dimas

President Barack Obama disembarks Marine One at the Brackett Field landing zone in San Dimas, California. (photo credit: OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO / PETE SOUZA)

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that he has not given up hope for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict but said tensions in the region and "serious questions about overall commitment" have made progress difficult.

"It's no secret that we now have a very difficult path forward. As a result, the United States is taking a hard look at our approach to the conflict," Obama said in an interview with Asharq al-Awsat, an Arabic international newspaper based in London.

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"We look to the new Israeli government and the Palestinians to demonstrate - through policies and actions - a genuine commitment to a two-state solution," Obama said.

Obama said that he empathized with the concerns expressed by regional allies apprehensive over the possibility that Iran will be permitted to obtain a nuclear weapon.

“Iran clearly engages in dangerous and destabilizing behavior in different countries across the region,” the president told the Saudi-owned daily. “Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. It helps prop up the Assad regime in Syria. It supports Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It aids the Houthi rebels in Yemen. So countries in the region are right to be deeply concerned about Iran’s activities, especially its support for violent proxies inside the borders of other nations.”

Obama said that he summoned the leaders of Gulf nations to Camp David in order to reaffirm Washington’s commitment to their security.

The US seeks to “further strengthen our close partnerships, including our security cooperation, and to discuss how we can meet common challenges together,” Obama said. “That includes working to resolve the conflicts across the Middle East that have taken so many innocent lives and caused so much suffering for the people of the region.”

“There should be no doubt about the commitment of the United States to the security of the region and to our GCC partners,” the president said.




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