Obama addresses UN General Assembly_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
US President Barack Obama told the United Nations on
Wednesday that the Palestinians deserved a state of their own, but that
this would only be achieved through talks with Israel.
convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has
endured for decades. Peace will not come through statements and
resolutions at the UN," Obama said in a speech to the UN General
:Watch live: Debate begins at the UN General AssemblyAnalysis: Explaining as national strategy
it is Israelis and Palestinians - not us - who must reach agreement on
the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and
Jerusalem," Obama said.
He added that the US remains committed to Israel's security and a future agreement must reflect Israel's security issues.
Obama is scheduled to meet separately with both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas later on Wednesday.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the 66th annual
General Assembly of the international organization earlier on Wednesday, saying that "the
Palestinians deserve a state" and adding that "Israel needs security."
Palestinians bid to gain recognition of a state with full membership at
the United Nations was expected to be one of the central issues
dominating the event in the coming week.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minster Binyamin
Netanyahu were both scheduled to address the plenum on Friday.
Ban Ki-moon called for world leaders to take decisive action to battle climate change during his opening address.
"We must make progress on climate change ... we can not dismiss it because it affects someone else," he said.
He also addressed the famine affecting eastern Africa calling on those
assembled to "help save the children in the Horn of Africa."