PA: Obama AIPAC speech part of election campaign

Erekat, Ashrawi slam US president for expressing "unprecedented support" for Israel in address to pro-Israel lobby.

March 5, 2012 14:43
Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat 311 (R). (photo credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat on Monday expressed disappointment at US President Barack Obama's address to the AIPAC annual policy conference on Sunday.

"This speech is part of Obama’s election campaign," Erekat said in an interview with the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency.

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In a speech devoted largely to the Iranian threat, Obama reiterated his opposition to the Palestinians' unilateral efforts for recognition at the United Nations and emphasized that any Palestinian partner for peace must "recognize Israel’s right to exist, and reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements." 

"Unfortunately, the speech ignored the requirements for peace as it did not touch on urging Israel to accept the two-state solution, halt settlement activities, and stop imposing facts on the ground," Erekat stated.

The Palestinian official said that Obama had shown "unprecedented support" for Israel in the AIPAC speech.

Also Monday, PLO Executive Commitee member Hanan Ashrawi echoed Erekat's sentiments, calling Obama's AIPAC address "the epitome of a campaign speech."

Ashrawi charged Obama with defending the Israeli government and turning the peace process into a useless and banal discourse.

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