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Abbas: Obama 'led me on' and 'let me down'

Failing to get US support for unilateral moves by the PA, Abbas accuses US President Barack Obama of leading him on and letting him down.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 4/25/2011, 8:54 PM / Last Update: 4/25/2011, 10:28 PM

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PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas feels 'led on' and 'let down' by US President Barack Obama, Newsweek revealed in an interview on Sunday.

Abbas expressed disappointment in Obama saying the US president had led him on and then let him down by failing to keep pressure on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for a moratorium on settlement building.

“It was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze,” Abbas complained. “I said OK, I accept. We both went up the tree. After that, he came down with a ladder and he removed the ladder and said to me, jump. Three times he did it.”

Abbas added that in his opinion Obama was more receptive and sympathetic to the PA bid for statehood prior to winning the presidency.

Obama's support for a freeze on Jewish building in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem was was predicated on the vain hope the PA would return to the negotiating table. Instead, Abbas adamantly refused to sit down with Israeli negotiators until the freeze time had almost elapsed, and when the term of the initial building freeze came to an end, demanded an extension - as well as other preconditions for PA participation in negotiations.

During the interview Abbas also took aim at f US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, accusing him of failing to deliver PA positions to the Israel during negotiations.

“Every visit by Mitchell," Abbas continued. "We talked to him and gave him some ideas. At the end we discovered that he didn’t convey any of these ideas to the Israelis. What does it mean?”

The White House dismissed Abbas's claim Obama has abandoned him as "nonsense," According to Newsweek. It also dismissed criticism of Mitchell.

“Of course he carried both parties’ ideas to each other all the time,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

Abbas' criticism comes as the United States refuses to endorse an imposed solution by the United Nations based on the PA's maximalist demands as opposed to a negotiated solution between the two sides.