US President Barack Obama reiterated Tuesday it is “more vital than ever” for Israel and the PA to reach a final status agreement.
Speaking with reporters following his meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II, Obama said the political upheaval that has swept the Middle East presents an opportunity for Israel and the PA.
“Despite the many changes, or perhaps because of the many changes that have taken place in the region, it's more vital than ever that both Israelis and Palestinians find a way to... begin negotiating a process whereby they can create two states living side by side in peace and security,” he said.
Obama presented no new ideas for such a move, however.
His special Middle East envoy, former Senator George Mitchell, tendered his resignation, effective this Friday. Although the resignation was announced by the White House last week, Mitchell's letter was actually dated April 6, signaling his assessment there is perhaps little more that can be done to resolve the conflict.
The Hashemite monarch, a strong American ally, met with Obama to discuss the “Arab Spring” protests that have gripped the region. Decades-long regimes have been toppled in Tunisia and Egypt. Governments in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere are also seriously threatened by the unrest.
Obama is set to deliver a major Middle East policy address Thursday at the State Department. The speech will focus on the latest “events in the Middle East and North Africa,” that have followed the assassination of Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, scheduled to meet with Obama at the White House on Friday, will undoubtedly discuss similar issues and their impact on Israel – as well as the threat to the Jewish State by the PA's recent decision to welcome the Hamas terrorist organization back into the fold in a new unity government.
Obama will give a long-awaited speech on uprisings in the Arab world Thursday at the State Department, officials have said. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the speech would be devoted to "the events in the Middle East and North Africa."
There have been unconfirmed reports that Obama will demand that Israel cede all of the land it liberated in 1967, but these were denied by Karni who stated that these reports are "complete fiction". He added that Pres. Obama will not mention Israel or any other country in his speech. The speech will focus on encouraging democracy in the Arab countries and the Israeli Palestinian issue will not be its main point.