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March 21, 2013 9:22 am
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Obama Calls for Contiguous Palestinian State, An End to Preconditions During Meeting With Abbas

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Screen shot of U.S. President Barack Obama and PA President Mahmoud Abbas holding a joint press conference in Ramallah March 21, 2013. Photo: Youtube

On his second day in the region U.S. President Barack Obama made the short trip from Jerusalem to Ramallah to hold talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

During a press conference following their meeting President Obama reaffirmed his administration’s belief that the “Palestinians deserve an end to occupation and the indignities that come with it,”  through an “independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people alongside the Jewish state of Israel.”

“Put simply,” he said, “Palestinians deserve a state of their own.”

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As for the possibility of a two-state solution President Obama said that “the status quo on the ground continues to evolve in a direction that makes it harder to reach a two-state solution.” Taking questions after his brief remarks the president said that this is in part due to continued settlement activity, but backed away from calling for a settlement freeze, saying that “If the expectation is that we can only have direct negotiations when everything is settled ahead of time then there’s no point in negotiations.”

The president said he believes a two-state solution is “still possible but…very difficult,” and added that the two sides “cannot give up ” because of “young Palestinians and young Israelis,” who want to live alongside one another in peace.

He congratulated President Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for the development of the West Bank, and pointed out the contrast “to the misery and oppression so many Palestinians continue to confront in Gaza because Hamas refuses to renounce violence.”

During his remarks President Abbas said that Palestinians want the “rights of independence, freedom and peace,” and reaffirmed that Palestinians want a state along the pre-1967 lines with a capital in Jerusalem.

Abbas said that Palestinians want a two-state solution, “Palestine and Israel,” but that “peace should not be made through violence, occupation, settlements, arrests, siege,” and the denial of the rights of refugees. He also asserted that a Palestinian unity deal would be a key to peace.

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  • Dian Kjaergaard

    Unfortunately I have to agree with Shloime – a “contiguous” Palestinian state is impossible without breaking Israel up.

    I would really like Israel to have the “River to the Sea”, but I’m afraid it’s too late.

    A thought about “contiguity” in a two-state solution: Perhaps Gaza and “West Bank” could be joined by a roomy underground tunnel.

    Or another possibility for creating internally conguous states could be a three-state solution: Gaza, Israel (including Golan), and “West Bank”.

  • Thartea

    So, which city shall be the proposed capital of Palestine?
    Is it Jerusalem?

  • shloime

    “contiguous Palestinian state”?! somehow should show him a map or two. and point out that the only way that fatahland and hamastan will ever be “contiguous” is if israel surrenders part of the negev.

    and the 1949 armistice line leaves israel with 14 miles between the green line and the sea. is “contiguous” not so much of a consideration for america’s allies?

    what kind of drugs is he on?

  • Michael

    so in other words; nothing is new

  • Michael

    so in other words; nothign is new

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