Obama meets Abbas, ups pressure on Israel

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by LETHALFORCE, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Obama meets Abbas, ups pressure on Israel
    Obama meets Abbas, ups pressure on Israel

    by Staff Writers
    Washington (AFP) May 29, 2009
    US President Barack Obama Thursday renewed pressure on Israel but rejected a timetable for his peace drive, noting domestic pressures heaped on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    As Obama met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas for the first time as president, he called for a halt to settlement building on the occupied West Bank, while his administration sparred with Israel over the sensitive issue.

    Obama vowed an "aggressive" mediation effort, ahead of his visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt next week, while Abbas pledged to live up to all previous peace agreements and warned "time is of the essence" for a two-state solution.

    Abbas presented the US president with a document outlining ideas about how to take the peace process forward.

    "The document does not veer from the (US-backed) roadmap and the Arab peace initiative," Abbas told AFP. "It contains ideas to introduce implementation mechanisms for these two plans."

    A top Abbas aide said Obama had promised to study the text.

    The US president recalled that last week he had been "very clear" with Netanyahu about the need to "stop settlements."

    Asked by a reporter if he would strong-arm Israel if it did not back down in its refusal to support a Palestinian state, he said: "I think it's important not to assume the worst, but to assume the best."

    Obama, who rejected an opportunity to set a date for the establishment of a "viable, potential" Palestinian state, added: "I don't want to put an artificial timetable.

    "I am confident that we can move this forward if all parties are ready to meet their obligations."

    On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had significantly hardened the US position on settlements, prompting a blunt dismissal from Israel.

    But Obama appeared to give Netanyahu some leeway, noting the fierce pressures imposed on the Israeli leader by his hawkish right-wing coalition.

    "I think that we don't have a moment to lose, but I also don't make decisions based on just a conversation that we had last week.

    "Because obviously Prime Minister Netanyahu has to work through these issues in his own government, in his own coalition," said Obama.

    The US president also called on Abbas to offer security improvements to Israel and to quell anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian mosques and schools, and took note of challenges Abbas faces with the West Bank ruled by his Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip run by Hamas.

    "I very much appreciate that President Abbas has been under enormous pressure to bring about some sort of unity government and to negotiate with Hamas," Obama said.

    Abbas added that he had shared ideas with Obama based on the roadmap and the 2002 Saudi peace plan backed by the Arab league.

    The US-backed roadmap calls for a halt to Jewish settlement activity in Palestinian territories and an end to Palestinian attacks against Israel but has made little progress since it was drafted in 2003.

    Clinton had on Wednesday said Obama "wants to see a stop to settlements. Not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions."

    But Israel on Thursday dismissed the blunt US call.

    "Normal life" will be allowed in settlements in the occupied West Bank, government spokesman Mark Regev said, using a euphemism for continuing construction to accommodate population growth.

    He added that the fate of settlements "will be determined in final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and in the interim, normal life must be allowed to continue in those communities."

    The Palestinian Authority has ruled out restarting peace talks with Israel unless it removes all roadblocks and freezes settlement activity.

    Netanyahu told Obama last week at their first White House meeting that he was willing to "immediately" relaunch the peace talks but failed to publicly back the creation of a Palestinian state or to freeze settlement activity.

    The Abbas meeting represented Obama's latest attempt to revive the stalled Middle East peace process.

    Next week, Obama will deliver a long-awaited address to the Muslim world in Cairo, but he said he would not lay out his long-awaited peace plan in the speech, which he said was designed to lay out a path for a "better" US relationship with the Islamic world.
     
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  3. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The Associated Press: Palestinians angered by Netanyahu peace terms

    Palestinians angered by Netanyahu peace terms

    By KARIN LAUB and AMY TEIBEL – 1 hour ago

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian officials sought U.S and European help to salvage foundering peacemaking on Monday after tough terms laid out by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but they stopped short of refusing to resume negotiations.

    Palestinian disappointment was echoed in capitals across the Arab world, where leaders accused Netanyahu of setting more obstacles in the path of an already stymied peace process.

    Laying out his Mideast policy in a speech Sunday, Netanyahu bent to U.S. pressure and backed down on decades of opposition to Palestinian statehood. He invited the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world to resume peace talks.

    However, he removed from the negotiating agenda the fate of Palestinian refugees displaced by Israel's 1948 creation and said Israel would retain sovereignty over all of Jerusalem — two issues previous Israeli governments had agreed to negotiate.

    Netanyahu also said he would keep building in Jewish settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians, despite a U.S. demand for a complete freeze. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he would not resume talks unless Israel honored previous pledges to halt construction.

    Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Netanyahu's speech was so riddled with conditions that he "left nothing for negotiations."

    But he said the Palestinians didn't want to be cast in the role of rejectionists and didn't rule out the resumption of talks that broke off late last year.

    "Netanyahu wants to put us in a situation where he looks like he offered something, and we said no," Erekat said. "Netanyahu's speech was very clear. He rejects the two-state solution."

    Erekat said he contacted American, European and Russian mediators in the wake of the speech and urged them to hold Israel — along with the Palestinians — to their obligations under previous peace plans. Israel is required to halt settlement construction, while Palestinians must rein in militants.

    Netanyahu's move came after months of pressure from Washington to endorse Palestinian statehood, as successive Israeli governments before his have done. "There are new international circumstances that demanded I make a decision," Netanyahu told a party meeting on Monday. "This is the policy I chose."

    In Washington, Robert Gibbs, a spokesman for President Barack Obama, welcomed Netanyahu's conditional acceptance of Palestinian statehood as an "important step forward."

    But he suggested more needs to be done, saying the U.S. would work with all sides to make sure they fulfill the obligations "necessary to achieve a two-state solution."

    The European Union also said Netanyahu's endorsement was a step in the right direction.

    At the same time, Netanyahu's nationalist tone, tough conditions and vague language on peacemaking appeared to avert a crisis in his hawkish coalition, where there was strong opposition to the U.S. pressure.

    Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the most powerful hard-liner in Netanyahu's government, said the prime minister's speech outlined "the balance between our aspirations for peace and the aspiration for security."

    In his speech, Netanyahu called on Arab leaders to meet with him "any time, any place."

    But he pointedly avoided mentioning an Arab peace initiative that offers to trade normalized ties with the entire Arab world for a complete Israeli withdrawal from lands captured in 1967, a demand Israel rejects.

    He demanded Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state — another way of saying Palestinian refugees must give up their hopes of returning to lost homes inside Israel.

    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a key mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, said that demand "will further complicate the situation and scuttle any chance of peace," according to the state news agency MENA.

    In Jordan, the pro-government Al-Rai daily ran an editorial titled, "Netanyahu offered rotten merchandise. Nobody will buy it."

    Lebanese President Michel Suleiman described Netanyahu's speech as "intransigent when it comes to dealing with peace or regarding the solution for Palestinian refugees." Saudi Arabia's state-run Al-Nadwa daily said "every paragraph of Netanyahu's speech makes us more pessimistic."

    The Arab League's undersecretary general for Palestinian affairs, Mohammed Sobeih, said the speech might satisfy "extremists in Israel" but was "too far from what peace needs."

    The Syrian news agency published a call on world powers to force Israel to stop settlement construction. In Beirut, Hezbollah, another bitter enemy of Israel, said the speech disappointed "so-called moderate Arabs" who were hoping for peace with Israel.

    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who brokered the landmark 1979 treaty between Egypt and Israel, said his experience in the region shows that no differences are insurmountable. But he criticized key points in the speech — Netanyahu's intention to keep all of Jerusalem and his demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, which Carter said would make it hard for Obama to rally Arab support.

    Carter reserved his harshest words for settlements. "If Israeli continues to expand the settlements," he said, "then the prospects for peace will be greatly diminished, if not made almost impossible."

    Associated Press writers Amy Teibel, Ben Hubbard and Joseph Marks contributed from Jerusalem. Omar Sinan contributed from Cairo, Bassem Mroue contributed from Beirut and Donna Abu-Nasr contributed from Riyadh.
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Looks like Obama has changed USA'S pro Israel policy?
     
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    I somehow think similar LF Sir, and first time I am seeing that Israeli especially ultra right Israeli leader is bending on the US pressure.

    Regards
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    this is a first and i think Obama must have really threatened some nasty things to achieve this, but I still don't know what USA will gain from this anti -israeli, pro -palestinian policy?
    Maybe a move by Obama to please the arabs in hopes of them buying US debt?
     
  7. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    agree with u lf sir but israeli lobby is very influential in us
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    true but this move was rejected by the palestinians so Obama did not gain anything except proving he is an anti-Israeli president which may have been his intentions?
     
  9. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    There was nothing to accept in here .

    Israeli PM in real have sabotaged the peace process .. Now there is no freezing to Settlements and on that settlers are calling for more outposts in west bank ..no Right of return for refugees nor the talk of jerusalem and on that Israel wants to control the air and land space and wants a Palestine state with no army . Its like Israel wants to give Palestinians a larger autonamy and naming it Palestine state .
     
  10. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Palestinians: Netanyahu is 'sabotaging' peace efforts

    By Haaretz Service and News Agencies

    Tags: israel news



    The Palestinian Authority on Sunday criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's highly anticipated foreign policy speech, in which he called for immediate peace talks and endorsed the creation of Palestinian state without military capabilities.

    An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the speech "sabotages" regional peace efforts, due to Netanyahu's refusal to accept an influx of Palestinian refugees into Israel and his unwillingness to compromise on the status of Jerusalem.

    "Netanyahu's remarks have sabotaged all initiatives, paralysed all efforts being made and challenges the Palestinian, Arab and American positions," said Nabil Abu Rudeinah.
    Advertisement

    He noted Netanyahu's demand that Jerusalem be the undivided capital of Israel and that Palestinian refugees not be allowed into Israel: "This will not lead to complete and just peace," Abu Rudeinah said. "His remarks are not enough and will not lead to a solution."

    He described Netanyahu's setting of a condition of demilitarization as a condition for Israel agreeing to a Palestinian state as "detail".

    "Our main demand is the end of the occupation and finding a fair solution for Palestinian refugees and halting settlements," Abu Rudeinah said. "Other details should be resolved in negotiations."

    A senior Palestinian negotiator called on U.S. President Barack Obama to intervene to force Israel to abide by previous interim agreements that include freezing settlement activity in the West Bank. The alternative, he said, was violence.

    "President Obama, the ball is in your court tonight," Erekat said. "You have the choice tonight. You can treat Netanyahu as a prime minister above the law and ... close off the path of peace tonight and set the whole region on the path of violence, chaos, extremism and bloodletting.

    "The alternative is to make Netanyahu abide by the road map," he said, referring to a U.S.-sponsored document under which Israel agreed to freeze settlement activity and Palestinians agreed to rein in militants hostile to Israel.

    "The peace process has been moving at the speed of a tortoise," negotiator Saeb Erekat said. "Tonight, Netanyahu has flipped it over on its back."

    Erekat said that Netanyahu had "unilaterally ended the negotiations" and took the possibility of peace talks off the table.

    "[Netanyahu] spoke about a Palestinian state, [but only] after he removed from it the issue of Jerusalem, placed the issue of refugees outside negotiations, placed security outside negotiations when he spoke about a demilitarized Palestinian state," he said.

    Erekat also said that there was no chance of Palestinian ever approving Netanyahu's vision for their state."He will have to wait 1,000 years before he finds one Palestinian who will go along with him with this feeble state," said Erekat.

    Erekat, one of the senior negotiators on Abbas's team, said Palestinians needed to overcome the differences that have seen Hamas Islamists opposed to both Abbas and to interim accords reached with Israel seize control of the Gaza Strip.

    Hours before Netanyahu's address, Palestinian officials said that a "yes or no" decision faces the Israeli leader regarding Middle East peace.

    "What's required from Mr Netanyahu is a yes or a no - two states, accept agreements signed and to stop settlement activities including natural growth," Erekat had said .

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, himself at loggerheads with Hamas, has said talks with Israel cannot resume until Netanyahu halts settlement and accepts a two-state solution.

    Palestinians: Netanyahu is 'sabotaging' peace efforts - Haaretz - Israel News
     
  11. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Now the reaction from Middle Eastern countries

    Mubarak: Netanyahu's speech complicates situation in region

    2009-06-15 12:20:24 GMT2009-06-15 20:20:24 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

    CAIRO, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Monday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech, which called for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, will complicate situation and throttle peace hopes in the region.

    "The proposal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state complicates the situation further," the official Nile TV quoted Mubarak as saying.

    The president made the remarks while attending a military ceremony with the army's special forces.

    "The Middle East will be a scene of unrest if there is no comprehensive peace," he said, adding "the solution to the major problems of the Arab and Islamic worlds is through Jerusalem."

    "Netanyahu's call for changing the Arab (Peace) Initiative to drop the refugees' right to return will not receive support from Egypt or elsewhere," he said.

    "I have told the Israeli prime minister and U.S. President (Barack) Obama that the negotiations should start from where it ended without any delay," he added.

    Meanwhile, Egypt's foreign ministry said in a statement that Israeli prime minister's view which is "not complete" needs to be "developed."

    "Egypt hopes to hear different Israeli proposal which is built on the commitment to the two-state solution," it said.

    On Sunday evening, Netanyahu declared in a keynote speech that he was prepared to see the establishment of a Palestinian state, so long as the international community could guarantee it does not have any military capabilities

    Mubarak: Netanyahu's speech complicates situation in region - World News - SINA English








    Lebanese president calls for Arab unity after Netanyahu speech

    2009-06-15 13:43:39 GMT2009-06-15 21:43:39 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

    BEIRUT, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called for unity among Arab leaders on Monday, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed, with conditions, a Palestinian state beside Israel for the first time.

    "Arab leaders should be more united and preserve the spirit of resistance to face the Israeli stands regarding the peace process and the Palestinian refugee issue," Suleiman was quoted as saying by local Elnashra website.

    He said the Arab peace initiative is the best available chance to achieve a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East, calling for Arab awareness to confront all challenges in case Israel maintains its extremist attitude.

    On Sunday, Netanyahu endorsed the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state after weeks of pressure from Washington, but he insisted Palestinians must accept Israel as a Jewish state and that Palestinian refugees would not be settled inside Israel's borders.

    Suleiman called on the international community to exert more pressure on the Israeli government to accept the Arab peace imitative, as he said Israel still has a will of military confrontation which can be proved in its offensives on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

    Israel fought a devastating 34-day war with Shiite Lebanese armed group Hezbollah in 2006, and launched a massive military onslaught against Hamas-ruled Gaza earlier this year.

    Lebanon hosts over 400,000 Palestinian refugees in various refugee camps

    Lebanese president calls for Arab unity after Netanyahu speech - World News - SINA English






    Jordan shows disapproval against Netanyah's speech

    2009-06-15 18:34:46 GMT2009-06-16 02:34:46 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

    AMMAN, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Jordan on Monday expressed disapproval against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state in his Sunday speech.

    The ideas presented by Netanyahu didn't live up to what was agreed on by the international community as a starting point for achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the region, Nabil Sharif, Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and government spokesperson, said in a statement.

    He urged Israel to halt all unilateral measures, including a complete cessation of settlement activities, lifting barriers, ending siege and stopping practices aimed at changing the historical identity of occupied Jerusalem.

    The minister reiterated that the two-state solution is the only option to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative.

    Netanyahu on Sunday presented three conditions for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, which include the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, demilitarization of future Palestinian state and the support of the international community.

    Jordan shows disapproval against Netanyah's speech - World News - SINA English
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    this dual role obama has been playing in many regions is going to reignite animosity and hatred rather than bringing peace, and he is doing nothing against the real threats like the North koreans and Iranians.
     
  13. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Obama needs Arab and Muslim Governments to get out of Iraq ,Afghanistan and for the problems in Pakistan ,Somalia and these conflicts are affecting the image and the economy of America ..and on that Russia is trying to introduce new currency and replace dollar . which would further damage the America ..

    America first needs to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan , Opening new fronts like North Korea and Iran before closing the older ones would not benefit America from anywhere .. Waging war means money even for superpowers
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    true IG but even diplomatically USA has been able to do little against these rogue nations as they have been labelled, and as far as the dollar goes BRIC nations will stay with the dollar currency there will be no new currency, 3 of the 4 favored an IMF currency except India, india in many ways saved the dollar.
     
  15. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    USA is trying to over come from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and if u see carefully America took 10 years to attack Iraq first imposed sanctions which destroyed the Army of Iraq then allied with UK and gone inside Iraq without UN mandate .. And because of this only , America cant go easily against Iran or North Korea and the sanctions are even not working as both Iran and North Korea can produce thier own weapons are have enough backing from Russia and China and do have Nuclear weapons

    Regarding BRIC , they are watching things closely

    BRIC summit watched for signals on dollar
    Sun Jun 14, 6:40 am ET
    BRIC summit watched for signals on dollar - Yahoo! News
     
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Iraq did not have nukes these countries may and they will use them if they have them it would not be an Iraq type operation.
     
  17. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    I know that Iraq was not having Nukes , but North Korea is having and Iran can divert its Nuclear weapons programme anytime . Many countries have learnt lesson from the invasion of Iraq .
     
  18. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Israel's settlement growth must cease: Mubarak

    Washington, June 19: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Friday said that Israel's settlement expansion must stop and voiced optimism that an historic peace accord on Middle East peace was "within reach”.

    Mubarak also praised US President Barack Obama for leading a path towards agreement in the region and said the Arab world "must reciprocate with forthright leadership of its own," in an opinion column published in the US daily Wall Street Journal.

    "An historic settlement is within reach, one that would give the Palestinians their state and freedom from occupation while granting Israel recognition and security to live in peace," he wrote.

    Obama's address in Cairo marked a turning point in US relations with the Muslim world, said Mubarak, whose country remains Israel's closest Arab ally after signing a peace treaty in 1979, the first between an Arab state and Israel.

    But "Israel's relentless settlement expansion, which has seriously eroded the prospects for a two-state solution, must cease," Mubarak said.

    "For their part, the Palestinians must continue to develop their institutional capacity while overcoming their division to achieve their aspirations for statehood."

    Bureau Report

    West Bank settlement : Egypt wants Israel to cease growth
     

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