Obama to PA: Seeking statehood in UN a 'mistake'

US president in UK: Conflict rests on 4 points: Borders, security, refugees, J'lem; second two points require "wrenching concessions."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 25, 2011 15:33
2 minute read.
Barack Obama and British PM David Cameron

Obama, Cameron in London 311 (r). (photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing)

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "more urgent than ever." And while expressing confidence that a two-state solution was achievable, the US president made it clear that seeking Palestinian statehood in the United Nations would be "a mistake."

Speaking alongside UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a press conference in London after the two met privately, Obama stated that the Palestinians must understand "they have obligations as well."

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The US president said that the conflict rests on four central points: territorial boundaries, Israeli security, the Palestinian refugee issue and Jerusalem. He said that the last two issues were "extraordinarily emotional" and would require "wrenching concessions."

"My goal, as I set out in a speech I gave last week, is a Jewish state of Israel that is safe and secure and recognized by its neighbors and a sovereign state of Palestine in which the Palestinian people are able to determine their own fate and their own future," Obama told a news conference in London.

"I am confident that can be achieved."

In a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama added: "For the Palestinians to take the United Nations route rather than the path of sitting down and talking with the Israelis is a mistake.



Obama acknowledged, however, that Hamas was not a partner for negotiations until it renounced violence and recognized Israel. He said Israelis have a right to be worried by the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, given that Hamas does not recognize Israel and has not renounced violence.

The US president also thanked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for expressing his position, and making recommendations on how to restart the peace process.

Both the UK prime minister and US president expressed unity in supporting Israeli security, as well as a sovereign Palestinian state, in a jointly penned Op-Ed on Tuesday.

Cameron said on Wednesday that Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi must exit his post immediately.

The UK prime minister said: "It is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Gaddafi still in power -- he must go."

Cameron also said Britain and the United States must continue to work with Pakistan as their countries seek to stamp out terrorism. "Far from from walking away we've got to work even more closely with them".

The US president echoed Cameron's calls for Gaddafi to go.

Reuters contributed to this report


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