Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Obama calls on Abbas to take risks for peace

    President Obama meeting Mahmoud Abbas at the White House in 2009 (Photo: Pete Souza)
    President Obama meeting Mahmoud Abbas at the White House in 2009 (Photo: Pete Souza)

    US President Barack Obama met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House yesterday, telling him he must take much greater political risks in order to break the deadlock surrounding the latest round of peace talks.

    “It's very hard,” said Mr Obama sitting with Mr Abbas in the Oval Office. “We’re going to have to take some tough political decisions and risks if we're able to move it forward, and I hope that we can continue to see progress in the coming days and weeks.”

    Time is running out for the two sides, who must reach an initial framework deal in order to extend the talks beyond the deadline due to expire on April 29. Details of the potential framework agreement have not been published but the main hurdle appears to be the Israeli demand for Mr Abbas to recognise Israel as the Jewish state.

    The Palestinians say that they have already recognised the legitimacy of Israel in past agreements such as the Oslo Accords in 1993.

    The US supports Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence on the “Jewish state” wording, but does not think it should be dealt with at this early stage in the process.

    Mr Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdainah, described the talks with Mr Obama as “long, intensive and difficult”.

    Another issue that could derail the fragile negotiations is the possible release of the final group of Palestinian prisoners on March 29. The US is concerned that Israel may not go ahead with the release.

    Nevertheless, Mr Obama tried to remain optimistic about the prospects for the process, saying that the general contours of a future agreement were well known by both sides.

UK News

'Tell your friends' about Israel business opportunities Bibi urges

Daniel Sugarman

Friday, November 3, 2017

'Tell your friends' about Israel business opportunities Bibi urges
World

Anthony Weiner jailed for 21 months

Michael Daventry

Monday, September 25, 2017

Anthony Weiner jailed for 21 months
World

Trump to crackdown on Iran and its "terrorist minions", says Pence

JC Reporter

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trump to crackdown on Iran and its "terrorist minions", says Pence
UK News

Priti Patel criticised for ‘secret’ Israel meetings

Rosa Doherty

Friday, November 3, 2017

Priti Patel criticised for ‘secret’ Israel meetings
World

Rabbi among Mexico quake victims

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, September 25, 2017

Rabbi among Mexico quake victims
Comment

Settlement expansion is first step in new era

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Settlement expansion is first step in new era
Analysis

Israel concern that centenary is being downplay...

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Israel concern that centenary is being downplay...
Israel

Concerns raised about Israel's anti-boycott law

Orlando Radice

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Concerns raised about Israel's anti-boycott law
World

Netanyahu invited to meet Abbas in Paris

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Netanyahu invited to meet Abbas in Paris