US President Barack Obama addressed the potential reopening of peace negotations between Israel and Palestine on Friday, saying the "window of opportunity still exists, but is getting more and more difficult."
In a joint press conference with Jordanian King Abdullah II, Obama 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.
"Peace 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.
Obama 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 consquence, the whole region will be strengthened and the world will be safer," Obama stated.