Obama tells UNGA: Only talks will create Palestinian state

US president says Palestinians deserve state of their own, but only through talks; Ban opens NY event expected to focus on Palestinian bid.

Obama addresses UN General Assembly_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
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.
"I am 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 Assembly.
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"Ultimately, 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."
The 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."
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