05/29/2009, 00.00
PALESTINE - ISRAEL
Send to a friend

Obama- Abbas: Two states and a stop to Israeli settlements

Still tensions between US and Israel on the colonies. Obama maintains the two State solution, but is generic on how it can be achieved. Abbas re-proposes the Arab plan and the road map. Next week Obama will be in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – US President Barack Obama says he trusts Israel will recognise that the two State solution for the two nations is in the best interests of the Israeli and Palestinian people, even if he remained generic on a timeline.  Meeting with the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, he once again underlined that Israel must stop the settlement in the Occupied Territories.  Obama asked Abbas to commit himself to stopping violent attacks against Israel.

The “two States” and the halting of settlements in the West Bank are the two issues on which the US government and Israel to not agree.  Ten days ago, on May 18th, Obama met with Benjamin Netanyahu, but no agreement was reached on these two elements.  Recently Hillary Clinton firmly repeated the urgent need to stop settlement expansion in the West Bank, including their “natural growth”, but a government spokesman, Mark Regev, replied that the “natural growth” of the settlements will go ahead.

For the Palestinian Authority the expansion of the settlements in the West Bank is taking increasing space (including physical space) from the establishment of a Palestinian State.  According to the Israeli organisation Peace Now there are 21 colonies recognised by Israel in the occupied West Bank; what’s more there are a further 102 “outposts” that are not recognised by Tel Aviv, but are awaiting official approval.  Since 2001, the population of these settlements has grown at a pace of 5-6% a year.

Speaking to journalists at a press conference, Obama claimed he was “a strong supporter of the two State solution”, but avoided all reference to a timeline for its realisation, calling any agenda “abstract”.  Answering a question on a US response to the possibility Israel does not stick to these proposals, Obama said “it’s better to think positive”.

For his part, Abbas presented the US President with documents outlining the urgency in re-starting the peace process. These documents are based on the so-called 2003 road map (promoted by the US, European Union, Russia and the UN) as well as the Arab League-Saudi Arabian peace plan of 2002.  This plan proposes a normalisation of relations between Arab nations and Israel in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders and the creation of a Palestinian State.

Next week Obama will be in the middle east (Saudi Arabia and Egypt).  His special envoy, George Mitchel will also be in the region on June 7th.

Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Some hope as Israel withdraws and terrorists are no longer praised
08/03/2005
Signs Olmert and Abbas might be ready to talk
02/05/2006
Israel approves 500 new homes in West Bank
06/02/2014
European diplomats slam 'the economic, political and social marginalisation of the Palestinians'
01/02/2018 17:12
Expanded West Bank settlements drive the “last stake” in the heart of the two-state solution
11/01/2018 19:53