Obama, Abdullah sit together March 2013..
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed )
"I have long said that it is in the interest of Israel and Turkey to
restore normal relations between two countries that have historically
had good ties," US President Barack Obama said on Friday.
joint press conference with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Amman, Obama said
that during his visit in Israel, it appeared that the timing was good
for brokering reconciliation between Israel and Turkey, and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "agreed the 'moment was right' for reconciliation."
Obama added that the reconciliation is still a work in progress
that is "just beginning."
will still be significant disagreements, not just on the Palestinian
question but on a range of different issues," Obama stated, but added
that the two countries have a "shared interest and have been
extraordinarily strong partners in the past."
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) congratulated Netanyahu on Friday for the
phone call between him and Prime Minister Recep Erdogan of Turkey, in
which he apologized for a 2010 incident involving a Turkish Gaza-bound
ADL National Director Abe Foxman applauded the
"restoration of relations" between two of "America's most reliable
allies in the region," and thanked US President Barack Obama for his
"direct facilitation" of the reconciliation, during his visit to Israel.
"The long friendship and mutual cooperation between Israel and
Turkey has been beneficial for both countries and an important model for
partnership between Muslim nations in the region and Israel," added
addressed the potential reopening of peace negotiations between Israel
and Palestine on Friday in Amman, saying the "window of opportunity
still exists, but is getting more and more difficult."
stated that during his trip to Israel and the West Bank he sought to
listen first, "to find the road-blocks against progress." Only then, he
stated, can the US discuss with the relevant parties how to remove the
roadblocks and achieve concrete results.
He said the US cannot guarantee peace, only that they will strive to make the effort towards it.
will not be achieved until the parties themselves want peace. All of us
share this frustration," Obama stated. "Israeli people are frustrated
that this problem is not solved, they don't enjoy the isolation. The
Palestinian people certainly feel this frustration, as young people grow
up unable to do basic things that free people should do, simple things,
like travel, or privacy in their own homes."
"Part of the
tragedy is that neither side can get what they want, but it's impossible
to break out of the patterns of a difficult history," he said.
said he hoped that after his three-day trip, the US can explore
mechanisms to sit down together and explore new methods. "If it gets
done in a timely way, the Israeli people will be safer, and the
Palestinians will be freer. As a consequence, the whole region will be
strengthened and the world will be safer," Obama stated.
response, Jordanian King Abdullah II said that "Jordan's role as
facilitator to bring Israelis and Palestinians closer together may help
to have a framework for peace in next weeks or months."
said that Jordan will host and provide support for both the Israelis and
Palestinians in the run up to potential peace negotiations.
"The window of opportunity is still open to re-galvanize effort" for peace, the king stated.
on the Syria crisis, for which is said to be top of the agenda during
the meeting between the king and president, Obama said that Assad has
"lost all legitimacy," and that his fall was not a question of "if, but
when.""Something has been broken in Syria, and it won't be put back
together perfectly immediately, even after Assad," Obama said.
pledged to give $200 million to Jordan in aid of the crisis. Abdullah
responded to say he would refuse to close Jordan's borders to Syrian
"We haven't led with words, but with deeds," Obama
said. "We have worked diligently to help organize and mobilize political
opposition. This is critical; in it's absence, it would be impossible
to transition to a legitimate government," he said.