G8 group photo (R) 311.
(photo credit: Reuters / Images)
wants to hear Europe praise other aspects of US President Barack
Obama’s recent comments on the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process,
and not just the part calling for negotiations based on the 1967 lines,
with mutually agreed land swaps, diplomatic officials said on Thursday.
EU as a body, and representatives of a number of European states, have
praised the 1967-lines element of the speech Obama gave last week at the
State Department, though without the clarifications he added in his
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have also not been equally supportive of other elements in the
speeches, such as the president’s firm call for the Palestinians not to
take the statehood recognition issue to the UN, and that the recent
agreement between Hamas and Fatah represented an “enormous obstacle to
Last Thursday Obama said, “We believe the borders of
Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually
agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for
Three days later, to AIPAC, he added that this
meant that “the parties themselves – Israelis and Palestinians – will
negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June
4, 1967... It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes
that have taken place over the last 44 years. It allows the parties
themselves to take account of those changes, including the new
demographic realities on the ground, and the needs of both sides.”
problem, one diplomatic official said, is that the Europeans are
highlighting certain parts of Obama’s speeches, and ignoring others.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, for instance, said at the G8 summit in
Deauville, France, on Thursday that his country considered the
Fatah-Hamas reconciliation to be a good sign for peace and for the
For many years it was said that peace could not be concluded with the
Palestinians because they were not a united people, Sarkozy said, adding
that now this was no longer the case.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé is scheduled to arrive in Israel on
Wednesday as part of a regional tour. Sarkozy said Juppé would carry a
message from him to both Israel and the Palestinians that peace was
urgently needed and that time worked in favor of terrorist
Sarkozy added, however, that peace was not possible if Hamas did not
recognize Israel. At the same time, he said Israel needed to understand
that peace was necessary for the region.